Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Feast of Saint Thomas, apostle

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

The world has become increasingly secular.  Although most people say they believe in God, they no longer posit all hope in Him.  They see a doctor when sick and a lawyer in civil disputes.  They find solace in sports and television drama.  They anticipate technology’s latest product more than the coming of God’s Kingdom.  But people didn’t believe completely at other points in history.  Today’s gospel records an instance when one man refused belief in Jesus’ resurrection.

Thomas has reason to doubt the report of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.  There could be no doubt that Jesus had died.  His blood was drained from his body until water appeared.  He was also put in a tomb where he lay for over a day.  Yes, Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead, but Lazarus never walked through a closed door.  Nevertheless, when Thomas is confronted by Jesus, he must let go of his disbelief.  He does more than that, however.  Along with the other apostles, Thomas leaves his native place to preach Jesus Christ to the world.  Their success is amazing.  Through their and others’ effort whole nations have accepted God, the Father of Jesus.

Is Christianity doomed by the advance of secularism?  Some think that its survival requires forming small communities isolated from the dominant culture.  But perhaps it’s too early to call for circling the wagons.  People can find real fulfillment only in personal relationships, not in technological wonders.  If we can demonstrate the value of Christian virtues in forming such relationships, there may be a reconversion.  We will have to proceed like Thomas and many others preaching the gospel with our lives.