Homilette for Thursday, July 3, 2008

Feast of St. Thomas, the Apostle

(John 20:24-29)

Like Thomas sometimes we wonder about the resurrection of Jesus. We may think that life would be neater if death were the end. We could congratulate those who accomplished their goals in life – be they earning a million dollars, helping the poor, or raising a family -- and would not have to consider whether they accepted Christ in love to merit eternal life.

But all that is wishful thinking. The gospel today asserts that Jesus rose from the dead. He appears to a man who did not give credibility to the word of witnesses but insisted on touching the wounds of the crucified if he was alive. The doubter then turns into the person expressing the deepest faith in all the gospels. Thomas’ final words “my Lord and my God” express not only Jesus’ divine sonship but his equality with the one God.

Of course, we can deny the truth of Jesus’ appearance to Thomas. We can say that this is just a pious story fabricated to get simple people to believe. But such a stance denies our experience. People of faith seem to live fuller, happier lives facing hardship with less turmoil and recovering from setback more easily. Likewise, when we call on the resurrected Jesus -- “my Lord and my God,” we experience the providence of his guiding hand.