Opinion Op Ed 03 Jul 2018 Mystic Mantra: Findi ...

Mystic Mantra: Finding faith through doubt

COLUMNIST | DOMINIC EMMANUEL
Published Jul 3, 2018, 1:25 am IST
Updated Jul 3, 2018, 1:25 am IST
Despite the fact of being a great apostle of Jesus, Thomas earned another, though not a complimentary epithet, of being the “doubting Thomas”.
Jesus Christ.
 Jesus Christ.

The coining of the words, “Doubt in Faith”, can be seen as an oxymoron. Recently though, someone sent me this on Whatsapp, “Faith is a small word but has supreme implications. The problem today is that we have doubts in our faith and have full faith in our doubts”. While the quote is a play on words, yet it suggests that, “Doubt in Faith”, is not after all an oxymoron. And when one dwells a little longer on it and counter checks it with one’s own “faith” in God or in an ideology, one would find that it is close to truth. Nor is having doubts in faith something new. 

Today Christians observe the feast of St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles chosen by Jesus Christ and who is believed to have traveled to India in 52 A. D. He is credited to have established the first Christian communities on the southern western coast of Kerala, giving India the distinction of receiving the message of Jesus Christ before many other countries of the West even heard of it. That is why he is also known as the apostle of India. Despite the fact of being a great apostle of Jesus, Thomas earned another, though not a complimentary epithet, of being the “doubting Thomas”. For, after Jesus had arisen from the dead, Thomas demanded that unless he put his finger in His side and touch Him, he would not believe. The resurrected Jesus eventually obliged him.

 

There is, however, another interesting legend associated with Thomas. A merchant named Abbanes is said to have brought Thomas to the then Indian King Gundaphoros. It was soon discovered that Thomas could build palaces. So the king entrusted him money to build him a grand palace. Thomas instead used the money in helping the poor, the widows and the orphans of the kingdom. He repeated that with the next consignment of silver and gold too. After a while, the king asked Thomas to show him his new palace. “The palace cannot be seen here but Your Majesty would find it ready on departure from this world, in heaven”, Thomas answered. The king was furious and put him and the merchant in prison. But a misfortune befell on king’s brother Gad, who died and saw this palace in heaven. Gad was granted the request to meet his brother king Gundaphoros, who having heard the story from Gad, became a follower of Jesus on receiving religious instructions from Thomas. Thomas had been doing what he had learnt from Jesus: “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal”. Following that teaching would help us a great  deal to remove “doubts in our faith” and make this world a better place.

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