Monday, July 03, 2006

"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.

"Touching Christ, he cried out: My Lord and my God. Jesus said to him: Because you have seen me, Thomas, you have believed. Paul said: Faith is the guarantee of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. It is clear, then, that faith is the proof of what can not be seen. What is seen gives knowledge, not faith. When Thomas saw and touched, why was he told: You have believed because you have seen me? Because what he saw and what he believed were different things. God cannot be seen by mortal man. Thomas saw a human being, whom he acknowledged to be God, and said: My Lord and my God. Seeing, he believed; looking at one who was true man, he cried out that this was God, the God he could not see."

From today's Office of Readings, by Pope Saint Gregory the Great

No, I don't pray the Daily Office, although I wish I did. This came to me from a sermon at today's Mass by a priest who, praise God, celebrates his 18th anniversary of priestly ordination today.

As an alternative to always thinking of this saint as "Doubting Thomas," Father Al offered another "nickname" (I know, sheesh, another name for the guy also known as The Twin also known as Didymus? But this is cool):

"The Truth-Seeking Thomas"

It makes sense, especially if you read the Gospel that, before the latest Lectionary revision, used to be an alternative reading for this Feast.

Jesus: "Where I am going you know the way."

Thomas: "Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?"

I love this! The other apostles either (A) knew sorta what Jesus was talking about or, in my humble opinion, probably more likely (B) hadn't a clue but didn't want to 'fess up to it.

But good old Thomas just blurted out the truth...he, at least, hadn't the foggiest notion of Jesus' traveling plans and wasn't afraid to say so quite plainly!

And without this question, would we have this revelation?

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Wait...there's more good stuff!

This statement of Jesus led Philip to say...almost demand:

"Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us."

Which of course, as is recorded in John 14 (it's a short chapter and well worth the read) leads Jesus to reveal not just His own Divinity, but the wonder of the Trinity!

We owe a debt to Saint Thomas.

And to Our Lord for creating him.

No doubt about it!