Eph 2:19-22; Ps 117:1-2; Jh 20:24-29
Not every Apostle has his own feast day. Some are paired up like they were paired up by the Lord Jesus and sent on their first missionary journey before his death and resurrection. The Apostle Thomas, however, does have his own feast day. Perhaps, this is because he is also called Didymus, which means “the twin.” Is Saint Thomas our twin? Perhaps we are more like this Apostle than we realize. The Ephesians remembered the Apostle Paul’s preaching about the ways in which they were built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets. We, too, share this foundation. Perhaps, we even share the struggle that Saint Thomas had when he doubted the resurrection of Christ. Yet, even with this foundation we are sent forth to all the nations with the same message: The Lord is steadfast in kindness and his fidelity endures forever. Could there be any Good News more needed in our world?
In a world where terrorists strike with no warning and even less respect for innocent lives, many are tempted to find security in pre-emptive war. Into this world of strangers and sojourners we, who share an identity with the Apostles, are sent to proclaim the Good News. The Apostle Paul proclaimed Good News to the Ephesians. Through his faithful witness, Saint Paul broke through the alienation and danger of human community in every time and place. Sadly, we have learned to coexist in world of very tentative peace that is based upon self-interest. It is in our own best interest to keep hostility to a minimum, and to strike out at anyone who threatens us before they do harm to us. Such is not the basis of security among those who are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. We, who are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, find our security in Christ Jesus, himself, who is the capstone. The Good News we live and proclaim in the Church will always be a challenge to the world. The greater challenge, however, is for us to maintain our identity and daily grow into a temple sacred in the Lord. Christian life is not stagnant or passive. Life in Christ is a comfort to the afflicted, and it always afflicts the comfortable.
Saint Thomas rejected the all too easy words of comfort from his fellow apostles. He was afflicted with a fear of the kind of terror to which the Lord Jesus was subjected, and he was suspicious of those who were not realistic enough to fear such terrorism. The only experience that would comfort this doubter was to see for himself that the Risen One is truly the Crucified One. Saint Thomas had to see the marks and touch the wounds of Christ. Like the rest of the fearful Apostles, Saint Thomas also had to be relieved of his guilt for abandoning the Lord Jesus. Such is the power of the greeting, “Peace be with you.” In these words Saint Thomas heard what his companions had heard a week earlier: I do not condemn you. I forgive you and I want you to share the blessing of my death and resurrection with all the nations. Indeed, we are even more blessed than our twin for we have not seen; yet we believe. He is risen and here with us as our food and strength in this Eucharist. We can proclaim with the Doubter the greatest faith acclamation in the entire New Testament: “My Lord and my God!”