Friday, XIII Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

“My Lord and My God”: St Thomas, pray for us!

Readings: 1st: Eph 2:19-22; Ps: 117; Gos: Jn 20:24-29

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today, the Friday of the thirteenth week of ordinary time, the Church honors one of the pillars of our Christian faith, Saint Thomas, Apostle.

He was among one of the earliest disciples who followed and worked with Christ in the hope of the immediate coming of God’s kingdom.

If Thomas were to be nominated for an award, probably, he would be nominated for two. First, for being the patron saint of those who doubt or skeptics.

He made one simple remark: “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger into the nail marks…I will not believe.” This earned him the famous title: “Doubting Thomas”

Second, he would also be nominated as one of the champions of our Christian Faith. This is because, he made one of the most explicit statement of faith: “My Lord, and My God!” Through this, he gave us a prayer for all ages.

Yes, Thomas doubted, but he also believed. Through his curiosity, doubt, and faith, he gained for all of us, this very important blessing from Christ: “Blessed are those who have not seen, and have believed” (Jn 20:29).

After his resurrection, at the tomb, Christ had said to Mary: “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father” (Jn 20:17). Hence, through his curiosity, Thomas became one of those privileged to touch the physical body of the glorified Christ before his Ascension.

“Curiosity”, we say, “killed the cat.” However, curiosity saved the faith and vocation of Thomas. His new encounter with Christ, restored his failing faith in the Messiah, and the Son of God, who could not “save himself” from the hands of the Romans.

The good news is that, once Thomas was convinced, his faith was restored. Then, he was ready, and actually died for what he believed in. He labored much for Christ, and died a martyr’s death in India. What could be more important than this? Nothing, at all my dear friend, nothing!

Today, there is no doubt that some of us are in the same situation that Thomas was before Christ’s second visit. Are you at the point of losing your faith because of a certain “disappointment” from God?

Are, you doubting almost everything now, even though, you still come to church every day? You need a second visit from Christ. You need an urgent, convincing and life transforming encounter with Christ.

So, let us sincerely invite Christ for a second visit and encounter. If we do, he will visit us. He will restore our faith, and “the joy of our salvation” (Ps 51:12). Then, we shall cry out in amazement: “My Lord, and My God!”

St Thomas, pray for us!

Peace be with you all!

Maranatha

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