ST. THOMAS, THE APOSTLE
“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe (Jn 20:29).”
Today’s Gospel recounts how Thomas responded with doubt, with incredulity when the other Apostles told him that they have just seen the Risen Lord: “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe (Jn 20:25).”
So eight days later, when all the apostles were gathered together with the doors shut, Our Lord appeared again and told Thomas: “ ‘Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place in it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘HAVE YOU BELIEVED BECAUSE YOU HAVE SEEN ME? BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HAVE NOT SEEN AND YET BELIEVE (Jn 20: 27-29).’”
- Thomas’ absence during Our Lord’s 1st appearance was not a pure accident but rather falls within Divine Providence. His doubt was an additional opportunity to demonstrate that His Risen Body is real. As St. Gregory the Great said: “It was not an accident; God arranged that it should happen. His clemency acted in this wonderful way so that through the doubting disciple touching the wounds in his Master’s body, our own wounds of incredulity might be healed… And so the disciple, doubting and touching, was changed into a witness of the truth of the Resurrection” (In Evangelia homiliae, 26, 7).
- “My Lord and my God!” It is not a mere exclamation of surprise but rather a wonderful declaration, a marvelous act of faith of Thomas in the divinity of Jesus Christ, which for us can be an act of faith as well especially before the real presence of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist.
- Faith involves the “conviction of things which are unseen (Heb 11:1)”. Our Lord told Thomas as well: “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe (Jn 20:29).” Our Lord asks from us this firmness in faith, not founded on senses nor on mere sentimentality, but on the humility of the mind and heart to accept what He had revealed and transmitted to us, knowing that as God, He can neither deceive nor be deceived.
Dear friends, in this world influenced by positivism and empiricism both of which espouse seeing as a prerequisite of believing, let us ask our Lord to give a boost of “living” faith which sustains our hope and is united and manifested in charity, not only for us but for others as well: a faith which is based on the credibility of He who revealed, God, through His Apostles and the Church He founded on Peter. But for this, the importance of humility for “Faith is the humility of the mind which renounces its own judgement and surrenders to the verdict and authority of the Church (St. Josemaria, Furrow, n. 259).”
As witnesses of Christ’s Resurrection, the Apostles enkindled the world with the preaching of the Good News and changed the course of humanity. “God is the same as always. It is men of faith that are needed: and then, there will be a renewal of the wonders we read of in the Gospel. Ecce non est abbreviata manus Domini, God’s arm, his power, has not grown weaker (St. Josemaria, ‘The Way,’ n. 586).”
“Grant, almighty God, that we may glory in the feast of the blessed Apostle Thomas, so that we may always be sustained by his intercession and, believing, may have life in the Name of Jesus Christ your Son, whom Thomas acknowledged as the Lord (Collect of the Mass proper).”
Happy Feastday of St. Thomas to all!
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