Posted by: fvbcdm | July 3, 2013

Feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle (3 July 2013)

Today the Church celebrates the feast of the so-called Doubting Thomas—that apostle who was so firmly entrenched in his disbelief concerning Jesus’s resurrection that he did not believe it, and refused to take the word of his fellow apostles who had seen the risen Lord. No, indeed! He wouldn’t believe it or them until he had actually put his finger into the wounds in Our Lord’s hands and feet, and his hand into the lance-wound in the side of Our Lord. Obviously, they had told Thomas that even in the Lord’s risen body, those wounds were still visible and palpable.

The next Sunday, the apostles were gathered again, and this time Thomas happily was with them. Jesus appeared again, and knew of Thomas’s disbelief and his demand to touch the risen body of Christ. So he lost no time in inviting Thomas to explore his wounds with Thomas’s finger and the wound in his side with his entire hand. Do you think that Saint Thomas actually did that? I don’t. I suspect that the sight of Jesus, very much alive and in the same splendid condition of young manhood that had been his before his passion and death, was so convincing to Thomas that he didn’t have the audacity to actually insert his fingers into Jesus’s wounds.

We are indebted to Thomas for his incredulity. First, it shows us how at least some of the apostles did not understand or believe our Lord’s promises that he would rise again after his death. Second, it indicates that Jesus willed to retain his wounds even after curing himself, so to speak, of death itself. It is evidently very important to Our Lord to let the whole world know of those wounds, which will probably remain in his risen, glorified body forever. And third, it causes Saint Thomas to exclaim in a thrill of faith, “My Lord and my God!” When he calls Jesus “My Lord,” he is saying that he now believes that the human Jesus whom he has known these three years or so is truly risen from the dead. When he calls Jesus “My God,” he is attesting to his faith in the divinity as well as the humanity of our Lord. A tremendous act of faith he thus makes in this beloved man who now stands before him with wounds in his hands, feet, and side.

Let us spend this day with these words very much in the forefront of our minds and hearts. It is good to repeat a prayer over and over. We find repetition in the psalms, and when we say the Rosary, we repeat the Hail Mary at least fifty times. So today, I ask you, as you go about the activities of your day, to lift your heart to Jesus frequently and say to him, with faith and hope and love, “My Lord and my God.” Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This message was composed some years ago.


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