Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Feast of Saint Thomas, apostle

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

Although St. Peter and perhaps St. John are the most important apostles, St. Jude and St. Thomas are the ones with whom most people identify.  St. Jude is known as the patron of hopeless causes.  Both saints and more retrograde sinners have considered their situations as impossible.   St. Thomas doubted the resurrection when he heard about it from his confreres.  Like him most people wonder if the apostles were “just seeing things.”

Today’s gospel passage seems to have been written to dispel such doubts.  In its initial section Thomas demands physical proof that Jesus has risen.  He says, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands…I will not believe."   Then Jesus appears again and shows Thomas his hands.  The response goes beyond belief in the resurrection to belief in Jesus’ divine nature.  Thomas responds, “My Lord and my God!”

We have to believe in both Jesus’ resurrection and divinity without physical proof.  But there is plenty of circumstantial evidence attesting to the claims.  His teachings and example have allayed passions and promoted human welfare.  The Church he established and identified as his living body continues to thrive.  Most of all, he continues to speak in our hearts assuring us of his love and exhorting us to love one another.