The holy and glorious apostle Thomas was a fisherman in Galilee, who, after hearing the words of the Lord, became his disciple. Thomas did not believe the other disciples when they announced the resurrection of Jesus. When Jesus himself showed his pierced side, Thomas exclaimed, “My Lord and my God.” According to Church Tradition, the holy Apostle Thomas founded Christian churches in Palestine, Mesopotamia, Parthia, Ethiopia and India. Preaching the Gospel earned him a martyr’s death. For having converted the wife and son of the prefect of the Indian city of Meliapur [Melipur], Thomas was locked up in prison, tortured, and finally, pierced with five spears, he departed to the Lord. Part of the relics of the holy Apostle Thomas are in India, in Hungary and on Mt. Athos.
You were both a disciple of Christ and a member of the divine apostolic college. Your lack of faith proved the Resurrection of Christ and your touch unleashed reverence, O all-praiseworthy Thomas, now obtain peace and mercy for us.
O Thomas, full of wisdom and grace, you were a disciple and faithful servant of Christ. You cried out in the sincerity of your repentance: You are my Lord and my God!
1 Corinthians 4: 9-16
Brothers and sisters: As I see it, God has put us apostles at the end of the line, like men doomed to die in the arena. We have become like a spectacle to the universe, to angels and men alike. We are fools on Christ’s account. Ah, but in Christ you are wise! We are the weak ones, you the strong! They honor you, while they sneer at us! Up to this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, poorly clad, roughly treated, wandering about homeless. We work hard at manual labor. When we are insulted we respond with a blessing. Persecution comes our way; we bear it patiently. We are slandered, and we try conciliation. We have become the world’s refuse, the scum of all; that is the present state of affairs.
I am writing you this way not to shame you but to admonish you as my beloved children. Granted you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you have only one father. It was I who begot you in Christ Jesus through my preachings of the gospel. I beg you, be imitators of me.
John 20: 19-31
On the evening of that first day of the week, even though the disciples had locked the doors of the place where they were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood before them. “Peace be with you,” he said. When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. At the sight of the Lord the disciples rejoiced. “Peace be with you,” he said again.
“As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Then he breathed on them and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive men’s sins, they are forgiven them; if you hold them bound, they are held bound.”
It happened that one of the Twelve, Thomas (the name means, “Twin”), was absent when Jesus came. The other disciples kept telling him: “We have seen the Lord!” His answer was, “I will never believe it without probing the nailprints in his hands, without putting my finger in the nailmarks and my hand into his side.”
A week later, the disciples were once more in the room, and this time Thomas was with them. Despite the locked doors, Jesus came and stood before them. “Peace be with you,” he said to them; then, to Thomas: “Take your finger and examine my hands. Put your hand into my side. Do not persist in your unbelief, but believe!” Thomas said in response, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus then said to him: “You became a believer because you saw me. Blest are they who have not seen and have believed.”
Jesus performed many other signs as well – signs not recorded here – in the presence of his disciples. But these have been recorded to help you believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, so that through his faith you may have life in his name.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Thursday, October 5 –