St. Thomas the Apostle

            We celebrate today the feast of St. Thomas. Thomas is almost automatically associated with doubt. He is commonly referred to as the Doubting Thomas. He is, perhaps, the most maligned among the apostles. However, we can learn a very important lesson from Thomas. Thomas was just being honest and sincere. Talaga namang hindi niya nauunawaan ang kaganapan. Hindi pa nangyayari na ang isang patay ay muling nabuhay. Kahit ang ibang alagad ay hindi naman agad naunawaan ito. And Thomas, being a practical man, said, “I cannot understand… And if I cannot understand, I cannot believe…”

            Is this doubting aspect of Thomas really negative or should we see it as a positive trait? As an inquiring mind that needed to see the truth to believe but more than willing to believe once he saw the truth. Maybe he just needed to see the truth – had questions and wanted them answered. As one gospel commentary puts it, “His doubt had a purpose.” “Thomas wants to know the truth, his doubt is meant to give evidence to what he believes.” “So, it is not a lack of faith, but a desire to have faith founded in fact not in fancy.”

            The good thing about Thomas was that he was honest. He was honest and sincere enough to say – paraphrasing his words in today’s gospel reading: “Sorry, I really do not understand.” “Bear with me because my mind cannot comprehend the news that the Lord who died is now risen from the dead.”

            Can we say something like that? Let us be courageous and humble enough to admit the things that we cannot understand, and thus, we really cannot believe.

            Let us be like Thomas in his dedication to Christ, in his desire to really know for himself this risen Lord. I think Thomas really fits what Josh McDowell once said, “My heart cannot rejoice in what my mind rejects.” Let us be honest enough to say, “This is my limitation… I do not know.” “Pardon me, but I need to ask, I need to inquire.” Let us learn from Thomas the virtues of sincerity and honesty. And pray that with him we may be able to say with faith: “My Lord and my God.”

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