by Orlando Pedraza

Doubting Thomas, one of the 12 apostles, is one character with whom I truly identify. Thomas is labelled as “the doubter”, since he did not believe that Jesus was really risen from the dead. He believed that to see is to believe, and as he did not see, he did not believe. It was only after he had seen the holes in Christ’s hands,that he truly believed in the Resurrection. I think this is why I can resonate with Thomas the most.

As a Catholic, I too have been, at times, a “doubting Thomas”. I am often surrounded by people who aren’t as deep into their faith as I am, or who are not into their faith at all. Because of this, I get tempted to “fit in” and forget my faith by trying not to stand out. I experience doubts, and, like Thomas, I sometimes feel the requirement for there to be proof for my faith. At times, I find it hard to fully believe and trust in God.

I have found that by being involved deeply with other people of faith, I can overcome my doubts. I’ve attended Catholic youth events such as SetFree and World Youth Day in Auckland, and I’ve come to find that having doubts is normal. I’ve learned that our faith isn’t something we can always understand and sometimes it’s just something we have to blindly dive into. I think that Thomas, also, may have learned this. From the beginning, he didn’t have full faith in Jesus, but by being involved himself with other people of faith (the disciples) his faith grew — as mine does now.

Doubting Thomas is a person we can all relate to at some point in our lives. We all have our doubts, but, as Catholics, we can learn to overcome them and put our
faith in God. The story of Thomas helps us to understand that we shouldn’t need to see in order to believe, but rather believe in order to see.

Orlando Pedraza is a head student from Campion College, Gisborne.

By Niamh Stratton

Noah from the Book of Genesis has characteristics that resonate with me. In my understanding, Noah was very hard-working, dedicated and he trusted in God’s plan.

He was committed to helping God make the world a better place. He was charged with a huge undertaking, which he worked on tirelessly until it was completed.

Noah was also a family man at heart, who not only provided for his own family, but also nurtured those animals of which he was the guardian on the ark.

One of Noah’s qualities that I personally strive for is his trust in God’s Word; such as living out parts of the Bible each day through “Loving thy neighbour”. To help me develop this quality, I am an active part of Campion College Caritas and of Gisborne’s local St Vincent de Paul and I am a hospice youth ambassador.

Noah’s excellent planning, dedication and commitment are all skills that I respect and hope to show in various aspects of my life. Like Noah, I am a hard worker and have high expectations of myself and am committed to environmental sustainability.

One of my favourite activities is being part of my school’s “enviroschool” team and working towards creating a more sustainable future within my own community.

Part of this is that we protect and nurture God’s creation as kaitiaki of our planet.

I am a person who strongly believes that everything happens for a reason.

That, through my life, God is watching over me, as he does others. That when I can’t see where to take my next step, my faith in God will guide me.

Due to Noah’s sense of duty to God, God made a covenant with Noah that he shall never do this to mankind again.

Noah was rewarded and granted safety for the rest of his life. On earth, God would send a rainbow to show us his love and this promise; these are signs that uphold my faith.

Noah is a character who displays desirable traits that all people may obtain and express. His inspiring dedication
and unwavering trust in God can motivate all of us, and certainly motivates me.

Niamh Stratton is a head student from Campion College, Gisborne.


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