We all know that St. Thomas was one of the twelve apostles, and he is specifically referred to a number of times in the Gospels. However, he has the burden of going down in history as having trouble with faith. Thus, the expression, “doubting Thomas”.
In my opinion, St. Thomas should be a tremendous source of strength to each and every one of us. Which among us, has not at one time or another questioned the awesome truths that we hold so dear? The real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, the transformation of our relationship with Jesus through baptism, that our sins are forgiven as we kneel in front of an ordained priest and hear words of absolution, or the most awesome truth- that the Jewish carpenter, working from about thirty years in a dirty, Judean village, was God incarnate? Wow!
We, each one of us, would enjoy having an extended conversation with Thomas. We have ALL been doubters. But with Thomas, we have responded to God’s grace and come to grips with the fact that the infinite realities that govern our relationship with Jesus and through Jesus, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, are beyond the capacity of our finite intellectual power. Faced with what Jesus has done and said and IS, we believe.
Thank you, Thomas, we are with you! Happy Feast Day!
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Second Sunday of Easter, April 15th
The awe and joy of the Resurrection continues on this, the second Sunday of Easter. John’s Gospel presents several delightful developments flowing out of this center of the Christian faith, namely Jesus of Nazareth’s triumph over sin and death. I refer to our Lord’s infinite patience, forgiveness and his challenge to our faith.
The first scene is the apostles hiding behind locked doors who are suddenly face to face with the Lord. If you look between the lines, you see that this scene not only describes the commissioning of the apostles with power, but certainly reflects his infinite patience and forgiveness. After three years of teaching them, after his constant presence among them, after his steady manifestation of infinite power, their faith dissolved. They had broken and run at the first sight of danger. Add Peter’s denial and the situation is even more disappointing. But what words does Jesus express as he appears among them? PEACE BE WITH YOU! The apostles were blessed that Jesus was Jewish and not Irish. Otherwise, he might have been much harsher.
The next component of this brief drama is poor Thomas. We don’t know his last name but he has gone down in history as Doubting Thomas.
Then you and I work into the story because after Thomas expresses faith Jesus says, “You became a believer because you saw me. Blessed are they who have not seen and have believed.” We don’t walk in Thomas’ footsteps. We walk in those of Jesus of Nazareth.
Onward to Pentecost Sunday.
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