Feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle
THOMAS, also called Didymus, or the twin, was a fisherman of Galilee. After having been received among the apostles he accompanied Jesus in all His journeys, and uniformly showed docility, zeal, and love towards Him, particularly on the occasion of His going to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead. For when the apostles were afraid to go thither, because the Jews desired to kill Jesus, Thomas, full of courage, said, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him" (John 11:16). His faith, indeed, wavered for a moment in regard to the resurrection of Christ; but no sooner had Christ satisfied him thereof by showing His wounds, than he cried out with firm faith, "My Lord and my God." Saint Gregory thereupon says,
God overruled the doubting of Thomas to our good, since that very doubt has profited us more than the ready belief of the other disciples, inasmuch as thereby Christ was induced to give so much clearer proofs of His resurrection, in order to confirm us in the belief of it.
Thomas showed the firmness of his faith by the innumerable labors which he undertook, and by the sufferings that he endured for Christ. He traversed the most extensive and remote countries, and preached Jesus to the Armenians, Medes, Persians, Parthians, Hyrcanians, Bactrians, and other barbarous and wicked nations, enduring in the course of his labors, with astonishing firmness, the greatest sufferings for the honor of God and the salvation of men. Finally he came to Ilidia, when, in the city of Calamina, or Meliapor, he underwent a glorious martyrdom, being pierced through with lances, by order of the idolatrous priests, as he was praying at the foot of the cross. So much did the apostle do to repair a single fault; but we, who every day commit so many - what do we do to repair them?
In the Introit of the Mass the Church announces to us how greatly the apostles were exalted by God, Who made them teachers and fathers of the whole world. She cries out, therefore, "To me Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable; their principality is exceedingly strengthened. Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me; Thou hast known my sitting down and my rising up" (Psalm: 138). Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Grant us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, to glory in the solemnity of Thy blessed apostle Thomas, that we may be ever assisted by his patronage, and follow his faith with suitable devotion. Through Christ, Our Lord, Amen.
Epistle: Ephesians 2:19-22
Brethren: Now you are no more strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow-citizens with the saints, and the domestics of God. Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner-stone, in Whom all the building, being framed together, groweth up into a holy temple in the Lord, in Whom you also are built together into a habitation of God in the Spirit.
The gospel and an explanation of it are to be found on the first Sunday after Easter, page 219.
O most benign Jesus, Who didst permit the unbelieving Thomas to touch the prints of Thy holy wounds, and didst thereby deliver him from his unbelief, oh, heal the wounds of my heart; give me a living, firm, and enduring faith in Thee, such as may ever incite me to do what shall be pleasing to thee, and to shun whatever may displease Thee. I beseech it of Thee by Thy mercy to Thomas in showing the prints of Thy wounds to him.