St. Thomas, Apostle, Tuesday, 03-07-18
Ephesians 2:19-22 / John 20:24-29
Empiricism is a theory of knowledge which states that knowledge comes only or primarily from sensory experience; empiricism emphasizes the role of experience and evidence, especially sensory experience, in the formation of ideas.
Hence for some people, the only way of convincing them is to let them have an experience rather than through arguments or discussion or deduction.
St. Thomas may not be a hard-core empiricist, but he was not one who would easily believe what others tell him, especially when the disciples told him that they had seen the Risen Christ.
He needed an experience of the Risen Christ and he even stated his demands - he not only wanted to see the holes that the nails made in the hands and side of the Risen Christ, he even wanted to put his finger and hands into the holes.
So for St. Thomas, seeing is not enough. He even wanted to touch! And if he had asked the disciples whether they had touched the Risen Christ, they would have been stumped for an answer.
St. Thomas saw how Jesus was crucified, died and was buried. So nothing short of touching the Risen Christ would convince him that He is risen from the dead.
The gospel account did not say whether St. Thomas actually put his finger and hand into the wounds of the Risen Christ. He only made the proclamation - My Lord and my God.
But from what Jesus said to him, it seems that St. Thomas believed when he saw Him; touching Him was not necessary already.
So for those who do not believe in Jesus or want to believe in Him, we have a mission to them.
From what they see of us and in us, they will come to a decision about Jesus.
May St. Thomas pray for us that we will be an experience of the Risen Christ for them.
St. Thomas was one the Twelve Apostles called by Jesus, although the gospels did not give details of how he was called.
At the Last Supper, Jesus told His Apostles that He was going to prepare a place for them to which they also might come because they knew both the place and the way.
But when St. Thomas said that they did not know the way, Jesus had to plainly and clearly say that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Yet St. Thomas was best known for questioning the resurrection of Jesus when the rest of the Apostles testified to it.
He even demanded to touch the wounds of Jesus before he would be convinced.
And because of that he was often called "Doubting Thomas". Yet when the Risen Christ appeared before him, it was St. Thomas who proclaimed the truth of the Resurrection when he addressed Jesus as "My Lord and my God".
St. Thomas was chosen as the instrument to make the first proclamation of the truth of the Resurrection and the Lordship of the Risen Christ.
He may have been sceptical and cynical and labelled as "Doubting Thomas", but we also must acknowledge that he was the first among the apostles to proclaim Jesus as Lord and God.
From St. Thomas we can see that out of a great doubt comes a deep faith.
So if we come across people who are sceptical or cynical about who Jesus is, let us also know that these very same people can be great witnesses of Jesus.
And even from our own doubts and darkness, we will also proclaim Jesus as Lord and God when we see the light.