Little is recorded of St. Thomas the Apostle. Thomas was probably born in Galilee to a humble family, but there is no indication that he was a fisherman. He was a Jew, but there is no account of how he became an apostle to Christ. Nevertheless, thanks to the fourth Gospel his personality is clearer to us than some of the other Twelve. Thomas’ name occurs in Matthew (10:3), Mark (3:18), Luke (6) and Acts of the Apostles (1:13), but in the Gospel of John he plays a particularly distinctive part. Thomas is often condemned for his lack of belief, but Thomas was equally courageous, willing to stand by Jesus in dangerous times. He also relentlessly sought the Truth. Like an inquisitive child, he constantly asked questions. And, his wonderful profession, “My Lord and my God,” is the clearest declaration of Jesus’ divinity in Holy Scripture.
Thomas, Loyal Follower
When Jesus announced His intention of visiting the recently deceased Lazarus in Judea—a few miles from Jerusalem and dangerously close for someone as unpopular as He—Thomas said to his fellow disciples: “Let us also go, that we may die with him” (John 11:16). When the worried disciples wanted to keep Jesus from going for fear He would be stoned, Thomas, in a moment of bravery not often expressed by the Apostles before Pentecost, rallied the others to stay by their Master come what may.
Thomas, Inquisitive Student
Later, in John 14:1-5 it was St. Thomas who raised an objection prior to the Last Supper:
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”
With the keenness typical of the Twelve, Thomas misunderstands Jesus’ reference to His death and resurrection. Thomas’ question provides Jesus an opportunity to teach one of the most profound and difficult truths of His ministry. Jesus said to Thomas: (John 14:6) “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
Thomas, Doubting Apostle
Lastly, and more famously, St. Thomas is remembered for being absent from the Upper Room the first time Jesus appeared to the disciples after His Resurrection. Thomas dismissed the accounts of the others by saying, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in His hands and put my finger into the nail marks, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe”(Luke 20:25). Eight days later Thomas made his act of faith. He fell at the feet of Jesus and said, “My Lord and my God!” and Jesus replied, “Because you have seen me, Thomas, you believed. Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet believe” (John 20:25-29). This incident gave rise to the expression “doubting Thomas.”
Thomas, Reluctant Missionary
Accounts of Thomas’ missionary activities are unreliable, but the most widely accepted report holds that he preached in India, although he was reluctant to start the mission. According to the Acta Thomae, the apostles divided up the world for their missionary labors, and India fell to Thomas. However, Thomas claimed that he was not healthy enough and that a Hebrew could not teach Indians; even a vision of Christ could not change his mind. Christ then appeared to a merchant and sold Thomas to him as a slave for his master, a king who ruled over part of India. One story suggests that Thomas offered to build a palace for the Indian king that would last forever. The king gave him money, which Thomas gave to the poor. Asked to show his progress, St. Thomas explained that the palace he was building was in heaven, not on earth. Ultimately, after giving into God’s will, Thomas was freed from slavery. He planted seeds for the new Church, forming many parishes and building many churches along the way.
To this day, Saint Thomas is venerated as the Apostle of India. In fact, there exists a population of Christians along the Malabar Coast, on the western coast of India, who lay claim to conversion by St. Thomas. Their tradition holds that he built seven churches, was martyred during prayer by a spearing on the “Big Hill” near Madras, and was buried in Mylapore, on the east coast of India. Ultimately, St. Thomas’ remains were transported to Ortona, Italy, where they reside today.
Written by parishioner Christine Berta
Years ago, there was a delightful TV show. Although it was aimed mainly at children, a lot of adults enjoyed it too. The show featured a cartoonist who would invite a child to take a pen and make a couple of meaningless scribbles on a clean sheet of paper. Then, against a background of spirited music, the cartoonist would transform the scribbles into a beautiful drawing. One scribble became a girl’s ponytail; another became the branch of a tree.In a sense, that’s what God did with the human race. After we messed up ourselves, he took us and fashioned us into something beautiful: the temple of his living presence.
****Do we believe God can take our messed-up lives and make something beautiful of them? “I will give you a new heart and a new mind. I will take away your stubborn heart.” Ezekiel 36:26
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. Jn 20:24-29: 19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came  and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21…. USCCB video reflections: 

The context: Today we celebrate the feast of St. Thomas, the Apostle. Today’s Gospel passage (John 20:24-29), presents the fearless apostle St. Thomas, in his uncompromising honesty, demanding a personal vision of, and physical contact with, the risen Jesus as a condition for his belief.   Thomas had not been with the disciples when Jesus made his first appearance to them. As a result, he refused to believe. When he appeared to Thomas later, Jesus said: “Blessed are those who have not seen but have believed.”  Thomas was able to overcome his doubts by seeing the risen Jesus.

The unique profession of Faith: Thomas, the “doubting apostle,” made the great profession of Faith, “My Lord and My God.” This declaration by the “doubting apostle” in today’s Gospel is very significant for two reasons. 1) It is the foundation of our Christian Faith.  Our Faith is based on the Divinity of Jesus as demonstrated by his miracles, especially by the supreme miracle of his Resurrection from the dead.  Thomas’ profession of Faith is the strongest evidence we have for the Resurrection of Jesus.  2) Thomas’ Faith culminated in his self-surrender to Jesus, his heroic missionary expedition to India in A.D. 52, his fearless preaching, and the powerful testimony given by his martyrdom in A.D. 72.

Life messages: 1) Faith culminating in self-surrender to God leads us to the service of our fellow-human beings.   Living Faith enables us to see the risen Lord in everyone and gives us the willingness to render each one loving service.  (“Faith without good works is dead” James 2:17). Mother Teresa presents it this way: “If we pray, we will believe; if we believe, we will love; if we love, we will serve. Only then we put our love of God into action.”   It was his Faith in the Lord and obedience to Jesus’ missionary command that prompted St. Thomas to travel to India to preach the Gospel among the Hindus, to establish seven Christian communities (known later as “St. Thomas Christians”), and eventually to endure martyrdom.

2) We need to grow in the living and dynamic Faith of St. Thomas using the following means prescribed by the Spiritual Fathers: a) We come to know and experience Jesus personally and intimately by the daily and meditative reading of the Bible.  b) We strengthen our Faith by the power of the Holy Spirit through personal and community prayer.  c) We share in the Divine Life of Jesus by frequenting the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. d) We are reconciled with God on a daily basis by repenting of our sins and asking God’s forgiveness and by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation whenever we fall into a grave sin.  (Fr. Tony) (