Daily Reflection
July 3rd, 2000
by
Richard Super
History Department
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Saint Thomas, apostle - Feast 
Ephesians 2:19-22
Psalms 117:1, 2
John 20:24-29

 I suspect that if you challenged a group of people to name the Twelve Apostles, everyone would list Peter and probably John first.  Of the rest, most would likely also remember Thomas, whose feast we celebrate today.  After all, who could forget the dramatic scene of that skeptical one, standing before the Risen Christ, touching the wounds and exclaiming his now-profound belief?  But I wonder how many would know much else about Thomas, about the tradition that he later ventured to India, where he supposedly preached the Good News for twenty years, where he was martyred in 72 A.D., and where a tomb purportedly marking his remains is venerated to this day.  That part of his life would be for all time overshadowed by that one defining moment in the upper room.  And the stubborn, the skeptical, the slow to believe would be forever known as Doubting Thomases.

Itís too bad that Thomas never had the benefit of the wisdom of Father Mark, chaplain to the Benedictine prep school I attended in Minnesota.  He taught me very early in my spiritual journey that doubt was natural to the human condition and that, when I was experiencing doubt about an article of my faith, I should simply continue to act as if I believed wholeheartedly.  Iím not sure how theologically correct that advice was, but it has served me well over the years.  When during Mass, my analytical self whispers doubt about whatís happening there, when the news of the day makes it hard to believe that a loving God could be present among all the violence, all the injustice and neglect, when the material seductiveness of our society calls to question the reality of Christís message and model, I am not bothered nor feel guilty.  Rather, while confronting such thoughts, I strive to continue to act as if my faith were unshakeable.  So I approach the Eucharist with all the reverence that I can muster.  I struggle to notice the hand of God in the everyday events of my own life and that of family and friends.  And, I try to search for Christís peace in simple acts of service to others.

In the end, I come to honor and celebrate the Apostle Thomas, not only for the very humanness of his doubts, but also for what he teaches us about how to recognize and respond to Godís truth when we see it.  Today, I stand in awe before the Mystery and pray as he did, ďMy Lord and my God!Ē   
 

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