Feast of Saint Thomas, Apostle


Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you."
Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe."
Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!"


The scriptures often mention a trait of God which, in our willfulness, we would rather forget: our God will not be ignored.
Our God persistently, insistently comes before us offering love, forgiveness, healing and guidance. If he cannot be a buddy to us, he can be a friend and gather us to the Communion of Saints.
The penultimate chapter of Saint John's Gospel reminds us of that. The Apostle Thomas, for whatever reason, had absented himself from the company of the apostles. He was not with them on that Sunday of the Resurrection and, hearing of the apparition of the Risen Lord, he refused to believe it.
And so the Lord made a second appearance, one which would generate the most extraordinary declaration of faith from the skeptical saint, "My Lord and my God!"
With those words Saint John's Gospel ends, (though another author added an anticlimactic 21st chapter.)
Sometimes some of us need a "swift kick in the pants" to get going. It can be initially humiliating and publicly embarrassing; we might even react with a touch of anger, but the shove is for our own good. In the end I am grateful when someone delivers one.
The scriptures suggest -- more than suggest, insist! -- our God is a jealous God:
  • For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their ancestors’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation, but showing love down to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
  • You shall not bow down to any other god, for the LORD—“Jealous” his name—is a jealous God. Do not make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land; else, when they prostitute themselves with their gods and sacrifice to them, one of them may invite you and you may partake of the sacrifice.
  • Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and take pity on the whole house of Israel; I am zealous for my holy name.
When the Church insists on attendance at Mass on Sunday or conformity to the revealed moral law, some people see an imposition. They use that wonderful expression, "You're cramming religion down my throat!"
It's for your own good. Eat it. You can forgive me later.

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.