Thursday, July 3, 2014

Feast of Saint Thomas, apostle

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

Mortimer Adler was the quintessential Jewish intellectual – prolific and deep.  He was a devotee of St. Thomas Aquinas, but for a long time resisted becoming a Christian.  He said that he did not have the gift of faith.  Finally, however, he submitted to what his mind was telling him.  He was baptized an Episcopalian and ultimately joined the Catholic Church.  He, like today’s saint, came to admit that he was mistaken.

For all the doubt he harbored, St. Thomas can be credited with a genuine change of heart.  He doesn’t have to express belief in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.  Calling Jesus, “Lord” and “God” transcends acceptance of the other apostles’ testimony.  True, as the gospel passage testifies, he has the benefit of seeing the resurrected Jesus, but he gives up all pretension about having to touch Jesus’ wounds in order to believe.  Such a grossly physical act would nullify faith as it comprises empirical proof.

The story about Thomas indicates that the disciples of Jesus did ask themselves the question if they were seeing things.  They prove themselves not visionaries but practical men who were willing to die for what they saw and heard.  We too must act on our belief that Jesus has risen.