Wednesday 4 November 2015

Saint Thomas - July Feast Days Saint Thomas- fêtes de juillet

“Thomas replied, ’My Lord and my God!’. Jesus said to him ’You believe because you can see me. Blessed are those who have not seen but who believe.’”

Ep. 2, 19-22 Ps. 110 Jn. 20, 24-29

SAINT THOMAS 3rd July Feast Days of July

“Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, ’We have seen the Lord, ’ but he answered, ’Unless I can see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.’

In the history of Thomas, we go from the sensitive world with all its inherent ambiguities, to the spiritual world. In the beginning of the recital it is a question of the Master’s friends witnessing about the Lord’s life beyond death. With Thomas we are in a regime of eternity where faith in man gives to see ’elsewhere’ and ’otherwise’ : ’ Blessed are they who believe without having seen.’

Thomas had said to his brothers ’Unless I can see the holes the nails made in his hands and unless I can put my hand in to his side, I refuse to believe.’ When we go through trials we are in the same sort of situation that Thomas went through. We need to gather up courage to plunge ourselves again in life with all its turbulences : “Believe in our turn that Jesus Christ is the Lord.’ When Jesus was crucified Mary Magdalen also went through trials. She had wanted to put oils on the corpse of her Lord Jesus. For Jesus it is a very precious reality, this touching of his Body in a very practical way. He comes towards her in saying ’Mary.’ From that instant, her life takes off again, with new courage, she can move forward once more. We can think that a relationship with God is just something that goes on on a spiritual side, understood as a sort of spiritual communion detached from realities. Well, this isn’t the case! The evangelist brings us back to what is deepest in Life and brings us back to its meaning.”Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, ’We have seen the Lord!’ but he

answered, ’Unless I can see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into his side, I refuse to believe.’”

In this recital, three themes are present : the bodily resurrection of Jesus, the relationship between faith and vision, and the disciples’ confession of faith. Body and sense are needed to arrive at this conclusion : ’My Lord and my God!’ Eight days later, on the day the community celebrates the Eucharist, the Lord says to Thomas, : ’Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand, put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving any more but believe.’ Jesus replies ’You believe because you can see me. Blessed are those who have not seen and who believe.’

We really do need to hear this Word when faced with our wounds so as to muster up all our courage when faced with trials : ’Put your finger here, look, here are my hands. Give me your hand, put it into my side.. Do not be unbelieving any more, but believe! ’

“Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed but Jesus came and stood amongst them.’ Peace be with you’, he said.”

As we read this recital of the Resurrection, we can make the link between the Pascal faith and vision : to believe means to see and to know. The episode of Thomas’ encounter with Christ is well known, at least in our current language when we refer to the disciple who needs to see and touch in order to believe, we can often hear the expression : ’a doubting Thomas.’ Thomas saw Christ, he believed in Him, and his vison goes beyond a simple physical experience. Thomas is the disciple who, with all of his senses, wants to have an experience of the Lord, an experience that calls to mind his intelligence. At the same time it is about a shared life, a light to be welcomed. In a certain way, if we follow Thomas’ itinerary, believing is seeing : ’Unless I can see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.’