Today’s Gospel: John 20:24-29 – Feast of St. Thomas, apostle
Imagine the feelings of the apostles after the crucifixion. They were hiding, terrified for their lives, while no doubt also consumed with profoundest sorrow. Their master, the One they had followed and left everything for, was dead. How could this have happened? Confusion, fear and grief probably left them unsure of nearly everything.
The other eleven had seen the Lord. For some reason, it was a week later that they were reunited with Thomas. Where had he been? Did he run? Had he returned to his home for comfort? In any event, we know that Thomas did not believe that the Lord was risen even after the eleven all asserted so.
Why did Thomas doubt? His friends were unanimously proclaiming the truth as eye witnesses. Was he afraid to believe for fear his hopes would be crushed again? Was his despair over the loss of Jesus so intense that he didn’t dare believe?
But Thomas doesn’t only disbelieve. He used hyperbole to adamantly insist that the Resurrection could not possibly be true. How the apostles, and Jesus Himself, must have winced at the words, “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the marks…” It was a crass, grotesque image.
But it was those words that elicited the response from Jesus, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.” This admonition reminded Thomas, and reminds us today, that not everything that is real must perceived by the senses. We are called to believe by faith the reality of things that are not seen through reason but believed with the eyes of the heart.
With Saint Thomas we can say at every Consecration at every Mass, “My Lord and my God!”
Just as Thomas did, how often do we doubt the realities of God’s promises to us?
Lord, through the intercession of St. Thomas, help us to truly believe in the power of the Resurrection.
Copyright 2019 Rosemary Bogdan
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