July 3, 2018

Thomas

July 3, 2018:  St. Thomas, Apostle

How many connections with today do you see?
Legend below
Listen


Psalm 117/antiphon-inspired
Read
    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.”



Reflect
  • Creighton:  Rarely mentioned in the gospel, Thomas is best known for not believing in Jesus' resurrection.  We have our doubts too; may we use them to search for God in our lives, perhaps in a smile, kind word or gesture, forgiveness....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "See, then believe what you can't see":  Seeing is not believing; faith is "conviction about things we don't see," but seeing is a platform from which we make the leap of faith.  Jesus told Thomas that those who leaped to the conclusion that Jesus was Lord were especially blest if they did without having seen Jesus physically.  Jesus prays for those who believe in him through the word of witnesses without seeing him physically.
Seeing, a gift of God, can precede believing.  The Lord wants us to see his works and glory:  "Believe because of my works."  See all the Lord wants you to see.  Conclude that he who is invisibly touching, loving, guiding, and protecting you is loving you unconditionally and infinitely.  In response, have faith that he is Love and Life.  See all you can, then by faith accept Jesus as Lord and God.
    The incredulity of St. Thomas/ Caravaggio
  • PassionistThomas's request seems reasonable given that he saw Jesus crucified and buried.  When when Jesus rejoined the apostles, he didn't say, "Thomas, why didn’t you believe?" but “Peace!  See, and believe!"  I have doubts about how God can use me, but we can all make a difference.  Whatever your doubts, ask Jesus to show you the truth, and let him use you today.  Seek answers in Scripture, and pray with a trusted friend.  We're part of the communion of saints, “being built into a dwelling place for God in the Spirit.”  If we believe that, together we can change the world:  fight for religious freedom, help people in need, tell the good news that God loves us, is for us, wants the best for us, helps us through our difficulties, wants personal relationship with us, sent Jesus to show us how to live and love and follow him.  Once we know him, how can we not want everyone to know him and experience his peace, hope, and joy?
  • DailyScripture.net:  "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
  • 'Stone' tie pin:  ...built upon the foundation... with Christ as capstone (1st reading)
  • 'International stamps' 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 apostle Thomas's feast
  • Oops; forgot 'Dove' pin: You're being built into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit... (1st reading)