Monday, July 3, 2017

The Feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle

All that is known for certain about Thomas comes from the New Testament. He is mentioned as one of the twelve apostles in all four Gospels and is nicknamed Didymus, “the twin,” in John’s Gospel. It was a “doubting” Thomas who refused to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead until he had seen him with his own eyes and put his finger into his wounds; this prompted Jesus’ response, “Doubt no longer but believe,” to which Thomas replied, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:24-29).

Reflecting on this moment, Saint Gregory the Great wrote, “The disbelief of Thomas has done more for our faith than the faith of the other disciples. As he touches Christ and is won over to belief, every doubt is cast aside and our faith is strengthened. So the disciple who doubted, then felt Christ’s wounds, becomes a witness to the reality of the resurrection.”

Tradition states that Saint Thomas preached the Gospel to the Parthians, Medes, and Persians, eventually making his way to India where he was martyred. A community of Syriac Christians in Kerala, India, trace their origins to the preaching of Saint Thomas. They are commonly known as “St. Thomas Christians.”

As we remember the Apostle Thomas today, we recall that to be an Apostle means to be “sent out” to proclaim the Good News of God’s mercy and love. And this call to be an “apostle” isn’t only the prerogative of those called to the vocations mentioned above. Each follower of Jesus has been entrusted with the mission to go out and invite others into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. Each of us—as Christians—is called to be an apostle in our world today. Each of us is being asked by the Divine Master to do our part in helping bring forth an abundant harvest for the Kingdom of God.

Pray today for an increase in vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and religious life. Ask God to bless those who might be discerning with the gifts of courage, faith, and hope. But also reflect on how God is calling you to be an apostle.

How are you being “sent out” to share the Good News?

Prayer +

Grant, almighty God,
that we may glory in the Feast of the blessed Apostle Thomas,
so that we may always be sustained by his intercession
and, believing, may have life
in the name of Jesus Christ your Son,
whom Thomas acknowledged as the Lord.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal)