"Happy are those who have not seen, yet still believe." These famous words from John 20:29 were said to Thomas by Jesus after Thomas doubted the apostles' claim that they saw the risen Lord. Unfortunately, the problem of disbelief was not only in Jesus' time, but is in ours as well. For whatever reason, many people - even fellow Christians or people close to us, fail to believe. This occurs despite the miracles Jesus performed, or all the miracles and mystical experiences the saints have shared. The fact alone that Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven should be enough for all humanity to believe not only in God but in his teachings and laws as well.
Why such unbelief? Is it that we haven't seen these events for ourselves? That we haven't seen enough evidence proving these events? The truth is, for the doubters of today, even witnessing these events might not be enough to rouse the belief. Belief starts with a decision. A decision to open our hearts to the Word of God. If our hearts are of stone, they can not be penetrated. We need to soften our hearts and let Jesus in. Once that happens, He will cure our blindness.
"Why is it important to believe," some have asked. "If God is real, He'll understand." These are some rationalizations I hear way too often. What people fail to realize that our belief is necessary - not only for this life but for the after life. Even the devil believes in God. He chose not to serve Him, but he believes.
This Lent, let us ask God to open our hearts to Him and to help our unbelief so that we can be happy now and forever.