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Doctrines & Morals

The Feast of St Thomas, the Apostle

Eph. 2:19-22, Jn 20:24-29. Today we celebrate the Feast of St Thomas, Apostle, who was martyred for his faith. While today's Gospel labelled Thomas a sceptic, because of his incredulity at the testimony of the other Apostles that they had seen the risen Christ, he should also be praise for his courage to go when other Apostles were afraid to go out. The other Apostles also had their moments of doubt; when Jesus was about to ascend to the Father that “when they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted” (Mt. 28:17). When Jesus was to go to Judaea, the other Apostles were afraid to risk their lives. When no one wanted to take this risk, Thomas challenged and encouraged them to accompany the Lord, saying: "Let us also go that we may die with him" (Jn 11:16). It was this courage and this desire that singled out Thomas from the rest of the Apostles. Thomas believes in Jesus when he sees the nail-scarred hands and gaping hole of Jesus. His faith is the faith of the Church: “My Lord and my God.” Thomas believes in Jesus because of what he sees. There will be those coming after Thomas who will not be able to see the risen Jesus in the flesh but how blessed they will be, if they believe.

Today's first reading beautifully describes the sacred Temple that the Lord is building, a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. It is not a Temple built of wood or stone; it is a Temple made up of those who believe. First, there is the cornerstone that holds the Temple together. Christ Jesus is that cornerstone. Then there is a foundation to the Temple. It is made up of Apostles and Prophets. As important as a cornerstone and a foundation are, that would be a pretty shabby Temple, unless there was more to it. That is exactly what God had in mind. We, the people of God, are built together to make this Temple when we are “together.” When the Church began, it was made up exclusively of Jewish Christians. Some thought it should remain that way without thinking that the Gospel is for everyone. A Gentile could attend the Synagogue and the Temple in Jerusalem but they were always outsiders, as Paul says: "Now they are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God." All of us are important parts of God’s sacred Temple but we are not lone ranger Christians. We are being built together to make this Temple without being bound by race, gender, or ethnicity. God’s sacred Temple has no aliens, strangers, or sojourners.

May the Lord fill us with His life-giving grace through faith in His Son Jesus Christ! Amen!! Remain safe and have a glorious weekend!!!

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