First Friday of the Month in Ordinary Time
A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks. (cf. Lk 6:45)
Saint Thomas' exclamation, "My Lord and my God!" is the quintessential reaction of one who comes face-to-face with the truth of the Resurrection, who comes face-to-face with the truth of Jesus Christ. Yet, Jesus reminds Thomas, and in so doing, all of us, "Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." Today, Christians are called to walk in the footsteps of the Apostolic Faith of Saint Thomas, the Apostles, all the disciples who witnessed Jesus in the flesh, and all the saints and glorious martyrs of the Faith down through the centuries, who witness to the truth of Jesus: the way, the truth, and the life. We Catholics are blessed, indeed, for we are called to the Supper of the Lamb. We are called to participate in our profession of Eucharistic faith, to exclaim, like St. Thomas the Apostle, "My Lord and my God!" at every Mass, which is celebrated every hour, of every day, on every nation around the globe. Let us, therefore, enter boldly into this great Mystery of Faith. As one of my favorite authors, Matthew Kelly, says (and is the motto of the Dynamic Catholic Institute): Be Bold. Be Catholic. Amen. Peace be with you! From the Author, My Daily Bread: A Reason2bCatholic blog
LISTEN: My Lord and my God!
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 20:24-29
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
The Gospel of the Lord
My Lord and my God
Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. He was the only disciple absent; on his return he heard what had happened but refused to believe it. The Lord came a second time; he offered his side for the disbelieving disciple to touch, held out his hands, and showing the scars of his wounds, healed the wound of his disbelief.
Dearly beloved, what do you see in these events? Do you really believe that it was by chance that this chosen disciple was absent, then came and heard, heard and doubted, doubted and touched, touched and believed? It was not by chance but in God’s providence. In a marvellous way God’s mercy arranged that the disbelieving disciple, in touching the wounds of his master’s body, should heal our wounds of disbelief. The disbelief of Thomas has done more for our faith than the faith of the other disciples. As he touches Christ and is won over to belief, every doubt is cast aside and our faith is strengthened. So the disciple who doubted, then felt Christ’s wounds, becomes a witness to the reality of the resurrection.
Touching Christ, he cried out: My Lord and my God. Jesus said to him: Because you have seen me, Thomas, you have believed. Paul said: Faith is the guarantee of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. It is clear, then, that faith is the proof of what can not be seen. What is seen gives knowledge, not faith. When Thomas saw and touched, why was he told: You have believed because you have seen me? Because what he saw and what he believed were different things. God cannot be seen by mortal man. Thomas saw a human being, whom he acknowledged to be God, and said: My Lord and my God. Seeing, he believed; looking at one who was true man, he cried out that this was God, the God he could not see.
What follows is reason for great joy: Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed. There is here a particular reference to ourselves; we hold in our hearts one we have not seen in the flesh. We are included in these words, but only if we follow up our faith with good works. The true believer practises what he believes. But of those who pay only lip service to faith, Paul has this to say: They profess to know God, but they deny him in their works [Titus 1:16]. Therefore James says: Faith without works is dead [James 2:17].
From a homily on the Gospels by Saint Gregory the Great, pope. From the Office of Divine Readings, July 3, 2020, www.DivineOffice.org.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family pray for us. Amen.