Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Feast of Saint Thomas, apostle

(Ephesians 2:19-22; John 20:24-29)

A debate in the philosophy of science centers around the question of the existence of spiritual being.  Some philosophers hold that matter is all that there is.  They try to reduce the mind to the material functions of the brain.  More traditional thinkers respond saying matter alone cannot account for the marvelous capacity of thought.  Of course, the question bears heavily on faith which Jesus addresses in today’s gospel.

Thomas appears to be a materialist demanding to touch the body of Jesus before accepting his resurrection as fact.  Jesus gives him the opportunity to do so, but does Thomas actually go ahead with the experiment?  Although Caravaggio in a famous painting portrays Thomas as probing the Lord’s side, the Scripture does not say so.  Indeed the passage indicates that he does not when Jesus says that Thomas believes only with seeing as the other disciples.

The passage ends with Jesus giving Christians through the centuries a blessing for believing in the resurrection without even seeing him.  Because our times more than most challenge such belief, we need to support the faith of one another.