Feast of St. Thomas, the Apostle
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Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But Thomas said to them, “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.”
Just like one of us. I love Thomas. He’s straightforward, human and even humble – yes, humble! – and I just love humble and honest people. They make so much sense to me.
Let’s face it: People like Thomas make the Gospels come to life – to my life! What happened to him always happens to me.
I can’t believe my eyes. I leave for a minute and the world has turned upside down. One minute we’re all wondering what to do with our lives – how to reintegrate back into society – and the next minute everyone is jumping for joy, high fiving and chest bumping. What in the world has happened? Why is everyone so happy except for me?
What happened? The Lord appeared and I wasn’t there! Graces were overflowing and I received NOTHING! Everyone was lucky but me.
Thomas is just like me and I know exactly how he feels.
Thomas and Choctaw. A couple of months ago, my dad flew from New York to Texas to visit me. After only a few days in town, I ran out of ideas and places to go to so I took him up to Oklahoma to visit the “famous” Choctaw Casino. I thought it might be fun and, who knows, maybe we might get lucky.
It took us about two hours to get there. From the outside the place looked beautiful, but I found myself a little disappointed the moment I stepped in. The gigantic gambling room smelled like cigarette smoke. I was shocked but not surprised. After all, the owners want to make their customers as comfortable as possible while they spend as many hours and dollars, as possible, at their machines.
I’m not a gambler and so I was a little reluctant to start gambling. Let’s just say I’ve heard too many horror stories about people losing thousands of dollars in a day and unable to stop for years. At first my dad and I agreed to spend only $10.00, but that quickly changed to $20.00. I know it’s not really “gambling.” Anyways, we found a spot at one of the hundreds of slot machines available and sat next to an elderly woman. It didn’t take long for this woman to figure out we were “first-timers” and voluntarily shared with us what to do and what she knew. At first I thought it was an attempt to stop asking rudimentary questions, but she took a liking to us and didn’t seem to be bothered. She told us that she hadn’t had much luck and that she was going to leave pretty soon. My dad sat down next to her and in just the few minutes things began to change for her. As her total winnings kept skyrocketing up, ours kept steadily going down.
She left with over $400.00 and told us that we had brought her some incredible luck. I thought to myself: Isn’t it amazing how luck works; how it never works on the ones who bring it?
This is what St. Thomas felt. He felt like he was the unluckiest person in the world. But he wasn’t. In fact, he was quite fortunate. He was a Jew. He was an Apostle. He was living in the best time ever, the same time of Jesus Christ. Out of all the people who could (and should) complain, how could he possibly complain?
Blessed are those. Jesus set the record straight when he said, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
Did you get that? It’s true. Believe it or not: Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed. Thomas never imagined in a million years that what had happened to him – and only to him – could have been something other than a punishment or rejection letter or pay back on the part of God. Instead, it was meant to be a blessing, and maybe a blessing in disguise.
What did the Lord think of Thomas, and of all his doubting, and of all his questions and insecurities? We all know the answer. He loved him.
Thank God, for Thomas is just like all of us. (0)
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- reflectio: mt 11:25-30 by fr alfonse