Sunday, December 20, 2009

Feast of St Thomas the Apostle

"Thomas answered, and said to him: My Lord, and my God". (John 20:28)

How much love and patience Our Lord showed to Thomas, who was well aware of the Resurrection prophecies, who knew exactly what the Apostles witnessed, who saw all the people around him rejoicing at the great news and yet he could not believe! He even wanted to challenge the Lord and set his terms: "Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe" (John 20:25). But Jesus treated Thomas only with patience and compassion. He does not admonished or rebuked him but instead He came with words of peace. And indeed He stands in front of Thomas ready at his disposal letting Thomas to see and examine the wounds with meekness and patience saying: "Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing" (John 20: 27). Exactly with the same patience and forbearance the Lord reacts to endless attacks and wickedness of atheists and infidels, obstinacy and blindness of Jews, schism, heresy and all the misery and sins of the world. Can we behave like Our Lord even in remotely parallel situation, when our credibility or orders are challenged, when we are ignored or even ridiculed? Possibly we will try to excuse and justify quite opposite reaction, wondering why we cannot win the hearts of those around us, family, friends, superiors. Someone made quite a good comment on the situation in modern world saying that nowadays simple domestic authority is usually enforced by endless orders, bans, prohibitions, but how ineffective really that could be. For in practice, a good example is most effective way. If someone is too strict with his subjects or employees he can end up surrounded by two-faced hypocrites. We should try our best to follow the Lord's example which enable us to win the hearts of others more easily by good example and loving attitude than by artificial and self-imposed authority. And indeed, Our Lord's love and patience won Thomas' heart who was converted and confessed: "My Lord, and my God" (John 20:28). Let us keep these moving words in our hearts, in particular during Mass when the Host is elevated after consecration. Do not cast the eyes down, but as St Pius X desired and granted indulgence for those faithful who with simple, deep faith and trust look into the Redeemer's eyes confessing in their hearts: "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28).