A reading from the holy Gospel of John 20: 24-29
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But Thomas said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
REFLECTION: “My Lord and my God!”
In today's gospel, St. Thomas is doubtful of the Resurrection as he had not seen our Lord and could not accept what others were saying.
His name comes from the Hebrew root, ta'am, which means "paired, twin". He has been referred to as "Didymus", a Greek nickname for "twin".
There is no doubt that he loved Jesus. When Jesus went to Bethany to raise Lazarus, coming dangerously close to Jerusalem, St Thomas said, " Let us also go, that we may die with him" (John 11:16). He was ready to stand by Him, follow Him and was willing to die with Him. (1)
In the Last Supper Jesus said, "Where I am going you know the way" (John 14:4). And St Thomas, showing how he still did not understand all that Jesus was saying, asked the question: "Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?" (John 14:5) Jesus answered: " I am the Way, and the Truth, and the LIfe" (John 14:6).(1)
And though St Thomas had seen the miracles, walked with Him and talked with Him, he still could not believe without actually seeing. His understanding of what happened was evident when eight days after Easter St Thomas recognized Jesus by His wounds. Jesus invited him to put his fingers in His wounds, his hand in His side..
“My Lord and my God” was the response from St. Thomas. He finally understood. He made the most profound statement of faith in the New Testament. Jesus can now be recognized by His wounds.
In today's gospel we see ourselves in St Thomas. We are comforted in our insecurity. Every doubt can lead to a brighter outcome. We are encouraged to persevere despite obstacles and difficulties as we journey to be with Jesus.
So when we see our child go down the wrong path, when we see the medical report, when we can't make ends meet or when we don't know what God has in store for our lives, remember to zoom out and see the panoramic picture before us. As with St Thomas, holiness is a gift from God. It is God who will transform us into courageous and trusting souls.
A true disciple seeks what he loves not what he can prove.
God Bless You
(1) Pope Benedict XVI on St Thomas the Apostle, General Audience September 27, 2006