In the post-resurrection Gospel story that dubs him a doubter; Thomas was elsewhere when Jesus appeared to the other apostles in the locked room (John 20:19-31).
It can be difficult to face the disappointment of being told: "You should have been there," or "You won’t believe what you missed." By his absence, Thomas missed out when the resurrected Christ was physically present among his friends.
In response to the announcement that, "We have seen the Lord," Thomas replied: "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."
Seeing is believing. It’s hard to accept something as true unless we personally experience it. We want to see, hear, taste, smell or feel it for ourselves.
When Jesus appeared again to the twelve a week later, he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe."
After personally experiencing the real presence of the risen Christ, Thomas answered by addressing him as, "My Lord and my God."
Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."
Those of us who are blessed with faith in the resurrection of Christ, without witnessing it ourselves, have come to believe in the saving power of Jesus based on the testimony of others. Our beliefs were passed on to us by our ancestors in faith. In many cases, our faith was passed on to us by our parents and grandparents.
In turn, we are blessed to pass on what we believe to our children, teaching them what we have been taught: that Jesus truly is "our Lord and our God."