The CoViD-19 pandemic is revealing the reality of social conditions for millions of people
especially youth around the world. Innumerous deaths and millions of unemployment are horrific
conditions. CoViD-19 pandemic will undoubtedly be one of the defining events of the youth and
their lives, imprinting forever in their minds the realities of life. Uncertainties of our future lives
increase frustrations—of dreams not being realized and questioning their faith and belief in God.
It seems like there’s no way out of the situation we’re in.
The disciples of Jesus also had a similar situation to that of ours today. After the death of their
leader Jesus, all of them lost hope and were in great frustration about their future lives, for they
had renounced their former jobs and were under training of their new life style to be fishers of
men. Doubting Thomas was one of the disciples from that frustrated group of disciples later
became St. Thomas, an apostle (apostolos = messenger = sent one) and a martyr (martur = witness).
Thomas was confident to die with Jesus (Jn 11:16) while Jesus was physically present, however,
the tragedy of Jesus’ death brought frustrations and doubts to Thomas. He refused to believe that
the resurrected Jesus had appeared to the ten other apostles, until he could see and feel the
wounds received by Jesus on the cross. Thomas was eventually given the proof he needed by
seeing Christ resurrected with his own eyes. Jesus said to Thomas, “Do not be unbelieving, but
believe” (Jn 20:27). Shouldn’t the frustrated youth be called doubting Thomas, or doubting
Linus, doubting Susan, doubting Franz, and so on? Like Thomas, haven’t we all doubted our
religion at some point? Have you ever questioned the validity of the accounts in the Bible? Or
wondered if the authors of the Bible missed something or were wrong? What if Jesus never
really rose from the dead? What if the disciples dreamed it? If only we have physical proof. But
we don’t. This is when having a strong foundation of faith is pivotal. “Faith is the assurance of
things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). How do we gain faith? Faith is a
gift from God and is something we pray to Him to grant to us each day.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church # 164 gives us the insights on faith during troubling
times: “Faith is often lived in darkness and can be put to the test. The world we live in often
seems very far from the one promised us by faith. Our experiences of evil and suffering, injustice
and death, seem to contradict the Good News; they can shake our faith and become a temptation
against it. It is then we must turn to the witnesses of faith: to Abraham, who “in hope. . . believed
against hope”; to the Virgin Mary, who, in “her pilgrimage of faith,” walked into the “night of
faith” in sharing the darkness of her son’s suffering and death, and to so many others…” Pope
Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit # 1 says: “Christ is alive! He is our hope, and
in a wonderful way he brings youth to our world, and everything he touches becomes young,
new, and full of life. The very first words, then, that I would like to say to every young Christian
are these: Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive!”
The story of St. Thomas’ life is a great example for us; even though we doubt and are frustrated
due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as high rate of unemployment among the youth; it does
not make us bad, we are just human. But as humans we need divine intervention. When one door
closes, another opens! Be encouraged and know that God has the key to open every door; change
every situation and open new windows of opportunities. Faith is what will carry us through the
brightest and the darkest times, and will sustain us until that day when we, like St. Thomas, will
be able to stand before our Saviour and finally say, “My Lord and my God!”