July 3, 2017


July 3, 2017:  St. Thomas, Apostle

See 10 connections with today?
Legend below

For Psalm 117
The Holy See wants to help the international community to eliminate hunger and malnutrition.  It's not enough to intend to provide everyone with their daily bread; we need to recognize they have a right to it.  The lack of a culture of solidarity keeps our goals distant.  Each country is committed to increase its own level of nutrition, improve agricultural activity and living conditions, encourage the agricultural sector, increase production, and promote effective distribution of food, but that's not enough.  We must constantly acknowledge the right of every person to be free of poverty and hunger depends on the duty of the whole human family to help those in need.  When a country can't offer adequate responses, you and other institutions need to be able to intervene effectively.  Since the goods the Creator has entrusted to us are meant for all, solidarity must be the criterion inspiring international cooperation.
Hunger and malnutrition result from a underdevelopment caused by the indifference of many or the selfishness of a few.  Wars, terrorism, and forced displacements that hinder or condition result from concrete decisions.  The most vulnerable are excluded from the processes of production and often must leave their lands in search of hope.  Decisions are freely made to cut back assistance to poor countries despite appeals and crises.  Our freedom must take solidarity and actual needs into account, and commitments must be fulfilled.  The Church is called to stand beside the poor.  I'm making a contribution to the your program that provides seeds to rural families in areas affected by conflict and drought.  The goal of food security can't be put off, but only an effort inspired by solidarity will be able to provide nourishment and life's other necessities to everyone.  The Church is committed to this challenge.
May this Conference give renewed impulse to your work and provide the practical responses that millions need; your activity doesn't only increase resources and help distribute the fruits of production; it's also a concrete, unique sign of a fraternity that helps them look ahead with confidence.  May God bless you and your service and grant you strength to make authentic human progress.
    The incredulity of St. Thomas
    (de Rossi)
  • Eph 2:19-22  You're no longer foreigners but fellow citizens with the members of God's household, built on the Apostles and prophets, with Christ as capstone, holding the structure together and building you into a dwelling place of God.
  • Ps 117:1bc, 2  "Go out to all the world and tell the Good News."  Praise the Lord for his kindness and fidelity!
  • Jn 20:24-29  The other disciples / Thomas=Didymus:  “We've seen the Lord.” / “Unless I put my finger into his nail marks and my hand into his side, I won't believe.”  Jesus returned when Thomas was with them.  Jesus / Thomas:  “Peace be with you.  Put your finger here, see my hands, and put your hand into my side; believe!” / “My Lord and my God!” / “You believe because you saw?  Blessed those who haven't seen but still believed.”
  • Creighton:  I appreciate and admire the apostles' humanity and faith.  They knew Jesus the man, saw his work, heard him, and followed him, hard as it was.  We have to make a leap of faith that might go against common sense and instinct.  Thomas apparently couldn’t based on what others told him, but when he did see the risen Jesus, Jesus acknowledged the humanity of the doubt.  We take a leap of faith whenever we pray or worship:  hard as it can be in this broken world, we believe in the risen Christ and in God's fidelity and kindness.  We're part of a community, with Jesus as capstone, growing into a temple sacred in the Lord, being built into a dwelling place of God.  May we always make that leap, act in line with it, and become a dwelling place for God....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "The love that knows no bounds":  It was unreasonable for Thomas not to believe in the Resurrection before examining Jesus' wounds, but Jesus nevertheless fulfilled his unreasonable request.  Jesus goes to extremes to love us; his incarnation crucifixion, forgiveness, mercy, and humility show his boundless love.  Some don't recognize it, but others like Thomas respond to it:  "My Lord and my God!" The Lord keeps loving and pursuing us. May we love him with all our heart....
    The incredulity of St. Thomas/ Caravaggio
  • Passionist:  We're chosen, eternally loved, and part of a group that will one day all praise God together, a people for over 2,000 years who have found purpose and hope in Christ.  Think of the saints cheering us on. Draw courage from the martyrs who have witnessed to the truth.  Learning their stories can bless and encourage us in our own walk and witness. Look at Christians today who, unashamed of their faith, share it whenever they can.  How do I give witness to God’s love? May we be ever open to sharing, by word and deed, the hope to which we're called.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Don't be faithless; believe":  The apostles had abandoned Jesus in his hour of trial and despaired when Pilate sentenced him to death.  On Good Friday  they saw his death as defeat, not victory.  When they heard about the empty tomb, they were slow to believe Jesus had risen., but their despair turned to joy when the Lord appeared to them.  The  last apostle to meet the risen Lord was the first to go with him to Jerusalem at Passover.  Thomas lacked the courage to stand with Jesus in his passion and crucifixion, then withdrew from the other apostles, doubted the women, and doubted his fellow apostles, but once he had the courage to rejoin them, Jesus showed he'd overcome death, and Thomas believed.  May we through faith recognize the Lord's presence in our lives and walk in the power of his resurrection.
    Dress legend
    • 'Dove' pin: You're being built into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit... (1st reading)
    • 'Stone' tie pin:  ...built upon the foundation... with Christ as capstone (1st reading)
    • 'International flags' tie:  "Go out to all the world and tell the Good News" (psalm)
    • 'Nail' tie pin, 'hands' pin:  “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands... and put my hand into his side, I won't believe.” (gospel)
    • '?' tie pin:  Thomas's initial doubt (gospel)
    • 'Key' tie pin:  Jesus returned, though the doors were locked (gospel)
    • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  “Peace be with you.” (gospel)
    • 'Eyeball' pin:  "We have seen the Lord."  “You believed because you saw me?  Blessed those who haven't seen and have believed.” (gospel)
    • Red in shirt:  Color of today's feast

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