JULY 3. Ord Time B. Wk 14. Sun. Feast of St Thomas. Jn. 20. 24-29
Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. When the disciples said, ‘We have seen the Lord’, he answered, ‘Unless I 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.’
Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them. ‘Peace be with you’ he said. Then he spoke to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Doubt no longer but believe.’ Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him:
‘You believe because you can see me.
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’
The central lesson of today’s Gospel touches on two of Christ’s central teachings; - Faith and Happiness; - with Christ teaching how the one leads to the other!
The world would have us believe that happiness is to be found by satisfying or yielding to our desires.
Christ, on the other hand teaches that happiness can only be found by following his teachings on Charity, Humility, and the need for Self-denial and Sacrifice.
What lies at the centre of these two different teachings or values is the search for Truth; - something the world does not place much value on; - while Christ claimed to be the Truth!
We do not often see the journey of life in this way, but one of Christ’s primary missions was to reveal the Truth to his people; - while the world has no interest in discerning it.
Christians and the World; - or it is better put as Christians and Satan; - both profess to teach the Truth; - and the way to Happiness; - but obviously, one of them must be wrong; - which is why Faith in Christ’s teachings is so important; - as he came to teach both!
Thomas, and his fellow believers in the time of Christ, were fortunate in that they had been witness to Christ proving he was God, and they “believed” in his teachings; - due to all the miracles they had seen with their own eyes!
But in today’s reading, where Christ had just provided the ultimate proof his teachings were the Truth; - by rising from the dead; - Thomas had been absent!
This meant he had to “believe” in what he was told by others; - but he refused to do so; - stating plainly; - “I refuse to believe!”
This was a critical point in the history of Christianity; - where Christ was about to return to the Father, and Christians would have to believe; - not because they witnessed miracles; - but because the Church teaches the Truth; - as revealed by Jesus Christ the Son of God!
Thomas was fortunate! Christ reappeared and so he believed; - but he told Thomas; - ‘You believe because you can see me. Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe!’
Gospel Acclamation Jn20:29
You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me;
happy are those who have not seen me, but still believed.