Monday, 3 July 2017 : Feast of St. Thomas, Apostle (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate the feast of one of the Holy Apostles, namely St. Thomas the Apostle, known also as the Twin and who was famous for his doubt of the Lord’s resurrection, and wanted a proof of it before he believed in Jesus, the Risen Christ. He had always been the skeptical one among the Apostles, as he sarcastically remarked when the Lord Jesus was about to go to Jerusalem for the final time before His Passion and death, that ‘let us all follow Him to our death!’.

We may be wondering, why did Jesus call St. Thomas to be His Apostle, to be the one to whom He entrusted His Church, if this Apostle of His has doubted Him so much and had been so skeptical about Him? But that is where we need to realise that when God called His disciples and Apostles, He called all those whom He deemed to be worthy, and not those who have deemed themselves to be worthy and faithful.

Let us ask ourselves, are we not the same as St. Thomas as well? Are we not like Him at times, doubting our God and not realising that we have done so? How many times has it been in our lives that we have questioned God’s love and decision for us? We are just like St. Thomas in our ways, and just like the other disciples and Apostles whom Jesus had called, all sinners alike before God and men.

God came to call all those who have sinned and lived in the darkness, that they may come into the light, and that was how He approached the prostitutes and tax collectors, people who have been sinning before God, and those whom the people had considered to be worthy to be saved. But God showed forth His love and called all of them to be His disciples, to be healed from their sins and faults, and to be reconciled with God.

St. Thomas himself did not doubt any longer, and believed from then on wholeheartedly. It was told by sacred tradition that St. Thomas travelled to many places evangelising among the pagan peoples, spreading the Good News to them, particularly what is now the southern parts of India, where even until today, thriving Christian communities can be found, as the so-called ‘St. Thomas Christians’ who preserved the faith given to them through St. Thomas the Apostle.

And St. Thomas himself would go on to die in martyrdom defending his faith against those who opposed his good works and evangelisation. From a doubter of the Lord and from a feeble faith, God had transformed the faith of St. Thomas into one that was firm and true, to the point that he was even ready to lay down his life for the sake of the Lord and standing true to his faith.

Otherwise, how we would explain his hard work and effort, and the thriving Christian communities which he had established two millennia ago and yet still thriving even until this very day? All those Christians did not come about from nothing, but through the effort and the hard works of the Apostles and their successors, from all the faith and hard work done by St. Thomas the Apostle, a doubter turned a firm believer of Christ.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us must realise that the works of St. Thomas, the Apostles and all the disciples of the Lord are yet incomplete, as the commands of the Lord still stand true even to this day. He has commanded all of them to go forth to all the nations and to preach the Good News to all the peoples, calling them to repentance and to accept the Lord as their Saviour and their God.

Let us all therefore be exemplary in all of our words, actions and deeds, be filled with love and joy in all of them, truly showing everyone that we really are faithful people of God, who completely place our trust in Him, and who walk in His path without hesitation and doubt. Let us ask the Lord to strengthen our faith in Him, especially when we are faced with challenges, with difficulties, temptations and doubt. St. Thomas the Apostle, pray for us always, pray that we will be strong in faith. Amen.

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