St. Thomas Sunday
Scripture: On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them.
Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." (John. 20, 19-31)
The Church dedicates this Sunday to the memory of St. Thomas the Apostle. There is no doubt St. Thomas loved Jesus very much, despite some doubts concerning His bodily resurrection. It was Thomas who courageously spoke out when the other Apostles tried to deter Jesus from going to Jerusalem because of the danger to His life. “Let us also go,” he said, “that we may die with Him” (John 11:16). Thomas was not present when Jesus first appeared to the Apostles. When informed of Jesus’
appearance, the news was too good to be true. Being a pessimist by nature, he refused to believe it. “Unless I see the mark of the nails on His hands;” he said, “unless I put my finger into the place where the nails were, and my hand into His side, I will not believe it” (John 20:25).
The Gospel today relates the story of Jesus’ next appearance, when Thomas was present. Jesus knew Thomas’ heart. Using his own words, Jesus invited Thomas to find out for himself. “Reach your finger here. See My hands! Reach your hand here and put it into My side. Be unbelieving no longer, but believe!” Overwhelmed by this evidence, Thomas could do nothing but fall at Jesus’ feet and cry out: “My Lord and my God.”
Jesus’ response to Thomas’ profession of faith in His resurrection has special meaning for all of us today. “Because you have seen Me,” Jesus told Thomas, “you have found faith. Happy are they who never saw Me and yet believe.” There have been times in the lives of many people when doubts arise concerning various aspects of their faith. The example of St. Thomas should be sufficient evidence to many of today’s “doubting Thomases.”
St. John wrote His Gospel especially for doubters, those who are struggling for faith, who are looking for the gift of faith or an increase in faith. “Those words have been recorded that you may hold the faith that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this faith you may possess life by His name.”