Daily Mass Reflections - 7/3
“There is something of the Apostle Thomas in every human being. Each one is tempted by unbelief.... We have to open our eyes and our heart to the gift of the Holy Spirit” ~ St. John Paul II
On this the day we celebrate the Feast of Thomas the Apostle, St. John Paul II’s quote dovetails perfectly with Paul’s words in today’s 1st Reading (Ephesians 2:19-22). It is here where Paul teaches us that we are no longer merely random travelers and drifters, sojouners with no purpose, but instead members of the “Household of God.”
He goes on to speak of a true Apostolic Church, with Jesus serving as the capstone. He concludes with a message of hope, pointing out that “we are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit,” the same Holy Spirit that St. John Paul II implores us to open our eyes and hearts to so that we can allow God, the master builder, to work within us so as to allow us to fulfill our role as part of the mystical body and blood of Christ.
Today’s Gospel selection (John 20:24-29) was an obvious one, wherein Thomas, when confronted with the risen Jesus, replies "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."
.......we all know the rest of the story.
Yes, Thomas is that rare historical religious figure whose seminal moment has found a way to creep into our vernacular, as those who are always reluctant or slow to believe are saddled with the moniker of “Doubting Thomas.” However, as Priests around the world this morning proceeded down the aisles towards the altars of the churches they serve cloaked in red vestments, we’re reminded that Thomas died in the most courageous and noble of ways; in the name of and in service to our Lord. Much like Peter, Paul and many other iconic Biblical figures, Thomas is a reminder that faith formation takes time; it doesn’t necessarily matter how you start. It’s how you finish.
In conclusion we’re reminded of and encouraged by Jesus’ final words in today’s Gospel: “Blessed are those who have not seen but believe”.
As people of God we truly are blessed beyond measure.