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Thomas and the Call to Faith
Feast of Saint Thomas, Apostle
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 he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks 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.”
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe in you! Strengthen my faith so it may be living and active.
- Doubting Thomas: Thomas rightly attained the appellative “doubting” after this scenario, but what an opportunity this afforded him as well! Thomas was graced with an appearance from Jesus himself, and the invitation to put his finger into Jesus’s wounded side. In this passage, Jesus proved that he will do whatever it takes to help us overcome our doubts. Doubts are a normal part of being human, but also an open door to something more for those who strive to reach out and put their finger into Jesus’s open wounds.
- My Lord and My God!: Thomas went from doubt to a tremendous proclamation of faith! For Thomas, Jesus was no longer simply the rabboni or master. He was the incarnate God! Can we find a greater profession of faith in the Scriptures? Thomas reminds us that faith is not only a gift, but also a human act. Where doubt surfaces, let us wrestle with God, like Jacob in the Old Testament, until we receive the invitation to touch Jesus and discover that he is truly present. When grace begins to bless our wrestling, faith becomes a living testimony of the God who first reached out to us. The words and doctrine that we articulate in the Creed suddenly take on flesh, and our hearts perceive truth differently than before.
- Another Thomas: St. Thomas Aquinas lived in the thirteenth century. He is considered a giant of the faith who attempted a systematic explanation of theology in his Summa Theologica. Take comfort in the testimony of these two Thomases. Thomas the Apostle walked with Jesus in his public ministry and he still doubted. But the Lord came to strengthen his faith. St.Thomas Aquinas labored for years on his work for the Lord and after one mystical experience, one touch of Christ, realized that his great labor paled in comparison with “my Lord and my God!” Let us strive to live faith while also trusting that the Lord will present himself when, where, and as he wants. He knows the best timing for our soul.
Conversing with Christ: My Lord and my God, I praise you for your goodness in my life. You know when to hide yourself and when to reveal yourself. Help me have patience to let you work as you desire.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will make many acts of faith in your presence. And I will decide to study and wrestle with one teaching of the Church that I do not understand.
For Further Reflection: What Faith Is and Isn’t, Father (now Bishop) Robert Barron.
Written by Jennifer Ristine.