Today, we celebrate the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle
St. Thomas was one of the fishermen on the Lake of Galilee who was called by Jesus to be one of the twelve apostles. He was known as the �Twin�� or �Didymus.�� Despite his being a slow believer, he had a heart full of love, sympathy, and courage. On the occasion when Jesus proposed to go to Bethany to pay his respects to His friend, Lazarus, Thomas, in fear that the Lord would be walking into the midst of enemies and might encounter harm or death, urged the other apostles to accompany Jesus. He said: �Let us also go to die with Him.�� (John 11:16b).
During the Last Supper, Thomas and the other apostles received the assurance that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. But St. Thomas is remembered for his unwillingness to believe the other apostles when they told him that Jesus had risen; He only believed when Jesus appeared to him and he actually saw His pierced hands and side and he was allowed to put his fingers inside His wounds. From then on, he was known as the �Doubting Thomas.�� But even if St. Thomas doubted, he also believed. He made what is certainly the most joyous statement of faith in the New Testament: �My Lord and My God!�� (John 20:24-28).
St. Thomas was also mentioned as being present during the appearance of Jesus at Lake Tiberias when a miraculous catch of fish occurred. Tradition says that after the Pentecost, he was sent to evangelize the Parthians, Medes, and Persians. He reached India, preaching the faith on the Malabar coast. He died shedding his blood for his Master, speared to death at a place called Calamine.
As we celebrate the Feast of St. Thomas, let us remember his courage and his love for the Lord. Let us also be inspired by the words of John: �Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed�� (John 20:29)
Fr. John Varghese