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Daily Reflection: June 26, 2020

My Dear Friends in Christ:

JOKE: YOU GET VIOLENT WHEN YOU DRINK: One night, a drunk comes stumbling into a bar and says to the bartender: “Drinks for all on me including you, the bartender.” So, the bartender follows the man’s instruction and says: “That will be $36.50, please. The drunk says he has no money, so the bartender slaps him around and throws him out. The next night, the same drunk comes in again and orders a drink for everyone in the bar including the bartender. Again, the bartender follows instruction and again the drunk has no money to pay. Again, the bartender slaps him around and throws him out. On the third night, he comes in again and orders drinks for all except for the bartender. “What, no drink for me?” replies the bartender. “Oh no. You get violent when you drink.”

In today’s gospel passage from Matthew 8: 1-4, we read about Jesus’ healing of a leper immediately after he came down from the mountain where He preached His Sermon on the Mountain. Leprosy like AIDS today was a terrifying disease because there was no known cure. When a person contracts this deadly disease, the person is banished from public gathering because of the contagious nature of the disease. The leper is then sent to live in a community with other lepers until he gets completely healed. Some die in this place of confinement. When a leper was healed, he was expected to go to the Temple and present himself to the priest and obtain a writ and certification of healing. Only when this is done can the healed leper be allowed to attend public functions and mix with everyone in the community. And so, no leper could come near people or even touch them. But in today’s gospel passage, when the leper begged Jesus to heal him: “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean” Jesus reached out and touched him not minding the leper’s contagious situation and said: “I will; be clean.” Jesus wanted this man to give his story firsthand when he goes to the Temple to present himself to prove that his leprosy was completely gone so that he could be restored to full fellowship with members of his community.

Dear Friends, as we face God this day, let us remember that we are all in need of mercy and spiritual healing from Jesus. We may not be suffering from the physical leprosy like the man mentioned in today’s gospel passage, but we carry along with us the leprosy of sin which separates us from God and from the community of God’s children. This is the primary purpose for Jesus’ coming into the world—to touch us despite the gravity of our transgression; to heal us, and to restore us to full communion with our God and our neighbor. Just like the leper was not ashamed or afraid to approach Jesus and present his problem, we too should not be afraid to approach Him and lay before Him the burdens of sin as well as any other burden that weigh us down and trouble our conscience. Sin is an incurable disease—and we all have it. Only Jesus Christ through His healing touch can miraculously heal us, take away our sins, and restore us to fullness of health in mind, body, and soul. But we must first acknowledge our inability to heal ourselves and ask for Jesus’ healing and saving touch. Approach Him humbly today in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and see how He will transform your life making you become a new person, a new individual, and a new creature of His Kingdom. Notice in the gospel passage that Jesus did not look down on the leper because of his sickness, neither did He remind the leper that he is an outcast, ostracized, and unfit for public appearance. He humbly touched him thereby showing him love. By touching the leper, Jesus gave him hope and a reassurance that he will be made well. Jesus expects us to show this same kind of love to people we encounter every day—a reassuring gesture of love that seeks to restore hope to the hopeless, joy to the sorrowful, and peace to the troubled.      

God loves you and so do I
 
 
 
 
Daily Reflection: June 27, 2020

My Dear Friends in Christ:

JOKES: 1) LIFE AFTER DEATH: “Do you believe in life after death?” the boss asked one of his employees. “Yes sir,” the clerk replied. “That is good,” the boss said. “After you left early yesterday to go to your grandmother’s funeral, she stopped by to see you.”

2) BROKEN INTO: An elderly woman called 911 on her cell phone to report that her car had been broken into. She is hysterical as she explains her situation to the dispatcher. “They have stolen the stereo, the steering wheel, the brake pedal and even the accelerator!” she cried. The dispatcher said, “Stay calm ma’am, an officer is on the way.” A few minutes later, the officer radios in. “Disregard.” He says. “She got in the back-seat by mistake.”   

In today’s gospel passage from Matthew 8: 5-17, we hear how Jesus Christ healed the servant of a centurion just by His spoken words thereby showing us how God listens attentively to our faith-filled prayers to meet our needs. In the ancient times, a centurion was a career military officer in the Roman Army with control over 100 soldiers. They were used to giving and receiving orders and commands and were the backbone of Roman army. They were obviously hated by the Jews for their oppression, control, and ridicule of the Jewish people and their customs. But this centurion loved, respected, and cherished the Jewish religious customs. He knew for certain that the Jews incurred ritual defilement/uncleanliness if they enter the house of a pagan and so wanted to save Jesus the embarrassment of incurring this ritual defilement. Thus, he made the humble appeal to Jesus not to come to his pagan house but to speak and heal his servant. It is obvious that this centurion loved his fellow human being by the love he showed to his servant and that he was truly humble when he set aside the pride of a highly placed Roman soldier to ask for healing. He indeed trusted in the healing power of Jesus and was ready to face ridicule from his fellow soldiers by pleading before a Jewish rabbi. This man’s genuine and sincere faith amazed Jesus. His humility and trusting faith instantly put to shame the stagnant piety of many of the Jewish religious leaders who were even blind to the fact that this Jesus of Nazareth—the Son of Joseph and Mary was truly the Son of God. The centurion’s response to Christ is what we respond every day at Mass shortly before we come to the altar to receive Holy Communion: “Lord I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word and my servant will be healed.” Still in today’s gospel passage, we read how Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law who was sick who in turn leaves us with a beautiful example to imitate. Her immediate response to her miraculous healing was service—she waited on Jesus and His disciples. Has God ever assisted you through any dangerous or difficult situation in your life? How do you respond and reciprocate to Him for favors He has done for you? We truly need to trust Him completely and respond with love for Him through serving and loving our neighbor.   

Dear Friends, as we face God this day, let us realize that as Christians we certainly need to grow to the level of the faith of the centurion and even above by knowing and experiencing Jesus Christ personally in our lives. This we can faithfully accomplish through reading the Word of God—the Bible meditatively. We can as well do more by stepping up our daily personal and family prayers and by frequenting the Sacraments especially the Holy Eucharist—the Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We need to completely surrender our lives to Jesus and strive towards rendering loving and caring service to others in all humility. Remember that the centurion could have allowed many obstacles—such as pride, doubt, power, hate, racism, language, self-sufficiency, distance, time, color, wealth, and material possessions to stand between him and Jesus. What obstacles keep you from following Jesus Christ and serving Him daily in your neighbor? Like Peter’s mother-in-law, let us always be grateful for all the numerous favors and blessings God has so graciously shown to us and let us reciprocate by loving Him above all things and our neighbor as He loves us.  

May your fellowship with Jesus today bring abundant joy and fulfillment to your heart and home!

God loves you and so do I

 

Daily Reflection: June 28, 2020

My Dear Friends in Christ:

JOKES: 1) THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT: In life, there are two things to worry about: either you are well, or you are sick. If you are well then there is nothing to worry about, but if you are sick there are only two things to worry about: either you get well, or you die. If you get well, then there is nothing to worry about. But if you die, there are only two things to worry about: either you will go to heaven or hell. If you go to heaven, then there is nothing to worry about. But if you go to hell, you will be damn busy shaking hands with friends you will not even have time to worry.

2) FIVE YEARS: A wealthy ninety-year-old tycoon is meeting with his financial advisor. The advisor is overly excited and tells the old man. “I just found out about an investment I can make for you which will double your money in just five years!” “Five years? Are you kidding?” exclaims the old man. “At my age, I don’t even buy green bananas!”  

In today’s gospel passage from Matthew 10: 37-42, Jesus calls His disciples and would be disciples to a higher mission than to find comfort and tranquility in this life: “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me…” Jesus’ instruction may sound strange to many people especially since family comes first for most of us. And the 4th commandment is emphatic about honoring our parents: “Honor your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Jesus is not asking us not to obey the 4th commandment of God by disobeying our parents but to know that all loyalties must give pride of place to the loyalty we owe to God. Love and respect for God must come first in our lives—first above our families, spouses, businesses, wealth, jobs, careers, friends, etc. Jesus calls us to a difficult task of carrying our cross daily and to follow Him. To take our cross and follow Jesus means to be willing to publicly identify with Him, to experience almost certain opposition, and to be fully committed to face suffering and even death for His sake. The more we love this life’s rewards such as—leisure, power, authority, beauty, popularity, financial security etc., the more we discover how empty they really are. Jesus wants us to be aware that the best way to enjoy life is to loosen our greedy grasp of earthly and material things so that we can be free to follow Him unreservedly. Thus, in Jesus’ estimation, the Christian life is a paradox: we must lose life to find life, and we must die to ourselves in order to rise again. When we live our lives according to this principle, we will inherit eternal life and begin at once to experience the benefits of following Jesus. Today’s gospel passage reminds us that how much we love God can be measured by how well we treat others. Jesus’ example of giving a cup of cold water to a thirsty child is a good model of unselfish service especially as a child cannot and will not return the favor to us. Be sure to know that God notices every good deed we do or did not do as if He were the one receiving it. Is there something unselfish you can do for someone else today? Be sure to know that even though no one else may see you, God will notice.

Dear Friends, as we face God this day and as we reflect on Jesus’ teaching in the light of today’s gospel, let us remember what Mother Teresa said: “The gospel is written on your fingers.” Holding up her fingers, one at a time, she laid great emphasis on each word: “You-Did-It-To-Me.” For Mother Teresa, “At the end of your life, your fingers will either excuse you or accuse you of doing it unto the least of these.” Today’s first reading from 2 Kings 4: 8-11, 14-16 is a concrete example of Jesus teaching in today’s gospel about showing kindness towards others and receiving numerous blessings and favors from God. The woman from Shunem having realized that Elisha was a man of God decided to prepare a room for him so he can stay there and rest whenever he was in town. She did this out of kindness and because she sensed a need. She had no selfish motive in her action. However, her kindness and generosity were rewarded beyond her wildest imagination—she was blessed with a gift of a son. As we reflect on the reading of this Sunday, let us ask ourselves how sensitive we are to the needs of those who pass by our homes and flow through our lives—especially those who preach and teach the Word of God? What special needs do they have that we could meet? Look for ways to serve and help them in their needs.             

God loves you and so do I

 

Daily Reflection: June 29, 2020

My Dear Friends in Christ:

JOKE: The child of a missionary was attending a liberal school in Europe. On the first day of school, the child’s teacher introduced herself as an atheist. She then asked the children how many atheists were in the class. Not too sure what atheism was but wanting the teacher’s approval, all the children raised their hands except the missionary kid. “Do you know what an atheist is?” the teacher asked the missionary kid. “Yes, I do,” the child replied. “Then why aren’t you one?” the teacher asked. “Because I am a Christian and I believe in God.” The teacher, noticeably upset, then asked the child why she is a Christian. “My parents are missionaries and I was brought up knowing all about God and how He sent His Son to save us. My Mom is a Christian and my Dad is a Christian, and I am a Christian too.” The teacher was quite angry. “That is not a good reason,” she shouted. “What if your mom was a fool, and your dad was a fool? What would that make you?” The child shrugged his shoulders and replied, “Then I would be an atheist.”

The Church celebrates today the feast of St Peter and St Paul. Both were the two principal pillars of the Church and today we celebrate their martyrdom. Peter was a professional fisherman from Bethsaida, a fishing town around the Lake of Galilee. He was the son of Jona and had a brother called Andrew. In John’s gospel account of the calling of Jesus’ disciples, it was Andrew who introduced Peter to Jesus (John 1: 36-42). When Jesus saw Peter, He change his name from Simon to Peter translated Cephas in Aramaic. Later on, Jesus made Peter the head of the Apostolic College and later conferred on him the leadership of the Church and the power to forgive sins when he confessed Jesus to be the long awaited Messiah when Jesus took His apostles on a tour of Caesarea Philippi. Jesus later confirmed this appointment and Peter’s precedence over the rest of the apostles. In Matthew’s account, we read that Jesus called Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew to be His apostles when they were busy fishing at the Sea of Galilee. After the Lord’s resurrection, Peter was among those to when He first appeared. Peter’s speech on the day of Pentecost was the inaugural speech of the early Church. He presided at the election of Matthias, addressed the Sanhedrin when they were persecuting the apostles. He presided over the first Council of Jerusalem and made the clear and decisive statement about pagan converts and the Jewish Law. He made missionary journeys to Lydda, Joppa and Caesarea. He wrote two epistles to the whole Church and was martyred in Rome by crucifixion by Emperor Nero. Paul has been nicknamed the Apostle to the Gentiles. He was born in the Roman colony of Tarsus and was a Roman citizen by birth. He has been widely regarded as the greatest apostolic missionary who went on foot throughout what we know today as Europe and even beyond preaching by word of mouth and by example the gospel message of Jesus Christ. His original name was Saul and was baptized Paul after his conversion. He was a Pharisee and studied Mosaic Law under the great rabbi Gamaliel. He was remarkably familiar with Jewish and Greek cultures which made him admirably fitted by nature and training for the great task that God assigned to him—to free the infant and growing Christian Church from Jewish Sectarianism. It was while on his journey to arrest Christians in Damascus and prosecute them that Jesus Himself arrested him. After his conversion, he made several missionary journeys, converted numerous people to Christianity and established several Church Communities. He was arrested and imprisoned during the persecution of Emperor Nero and was finally beheaded at the Tre Fontane in Rome.

Dear Friends, as we face God this day, let us ask for the prayers and intercession of St Peter and St Paul as we journey through life. Peter and Paul lived exemplary Christian lives and suffered martyrdom for the sake of the Gospel. By word of mouth, by preaching, teaching, and most importantly by writing they communicated the message of the gospel to the whole world. Christ has equally called us by virtue of our baptism to be His witnesses in the world. We must open our eyes, ears, hearts, and minds to see, hear, know, appreciate and experience the love, power, care, mercy and goodness of the resurrected Jesus in our lives and share this goodness, love and mercy with our neighbors. We may not be martyrs the way Peter and Paul were but we can be Christian believers who are always willing to sacrifice our time, talents and treasure for the poor, the needy, the hungry, the sick, the voiceless, the downtrodden, the imprisoned, the thirsty, the shut-inn etc. We can lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters in Christ and for peace in our troubled world, families, and homes.  

Saint Peter and Saint Paul pray for us.

God loves you and so do I

 

Daily Reflection: June 30, 2020

My Dear Friends in Christ:

JOKE: Committed to the spouse or to the Super Bowl? A young man was extremely excited because he just won a ticket to the Super Bowl. His excitement lessened as he realized his seat was in the back of the stadium. As he searched the rows ahead of him for a better seat, he saw an empty one right next to the field. He approached the man sitting next to the empty seat and asked if it was taken. The man replied, "No." Amazed the young man asked, "How could someone pass up a seat like this?" The older gentleman responded, "That's my wife's seat. We've been to every Super Bowl together since the day we were married but she has passed away." "Oh, how sad," the man said. "I'm sorry to hear that, but couldn't you find a friend or relative to come with you?" "No," the man said, "They're all at the funeral." 

In today’s gospel passage from Matthew 8: 23-27, we read how Jesus calmed the storm in the sea. The Sea of Galilee is about 13 miles long from the north to the south while the width is about 8 miles from east to west. The Sea is notorious for its sudden storms that rise at any time of the day. And whenever a cold wind happens to blow across particularly from the West, the valleys, gullies, and hills act like gigantic funnels compressing the storms and letting them rush down to the lake to create violent waves. The storms on the Sea of Galilee combine suddenness and violence in an incredibly unique way. According to Dr. W. M Christie, during these storms, the winds seem to blow from al the directions at the same time, for they rush down the narrow gorges in the hills and strike the water at an angle. He tells of one occasion: “A company of visitors were standing on the shore at Tiberias, and, noting the glassy surface of the water and the smallness of the lake, they expressed doubts as to the possibility of such storms as those described in the gospels. Almost immediately the wind sprang up. In twenty minutes, the sea was white with foam-crested waves. Great billows broke over the towers at the corners of the city walls, and the visitors were compelled to seek shelter from the blinding spray, though now 200 yards from the lakeside.”  That exactly was what happened to Jesus and His disciples. The waves were so high that the boat was hidden in the trough as the crest of the waves towered over them. But Jesus was asleep amid all these.  

Dear Friends, as we face God this day, we pray that we should always feel the presence of Jesus Christ in and around us to calm and steady the storms and waves of life that torment and embarrass us. Although the disciples have witnessed many of Jesus’ miracles, they panicked in the presence of this storm. And as experienced sailors and fishermen, the disciples knew its danger but what they did not know was that Jesus Christ could control the forces of nature as well. Often, there is a stormy area of our human nature where we feel that God cannot or will not work. However, when we utterly understand who God is, we will realize that He controls the storms of nature and the sea but most importantly He has control over the storms of our troubled hearts. The power of Jesus that helped Him calm the storm can also help us deal with the problems we face every day. Jesus is always willing to help if only we ask Him. We should never be afraid to ask or discount His power even in terrible trials.     

God loves you and so do I

 

Daily Reflection: July 1, 2020

My Dear Friends in Christ:

JOKE: YOU’VE GOT MAIL: A man was in his front yard mowing grass when his neighbor came out of the house and went straight to the mailbox. She opened it, looked inside, slammed it shut and stormed back into her house. A little later, she came out of her house again, went to the mailbox, again opened it, and slammed it shut again. Angrily, she went back into her house. As the man was getting ready to edge the lawn, here she came again. She marched to the mailbox, opened it, and then slammed it closed harder than ever. Puzzled by her actions, the man asked her, “Is something wrong?” to which she replied, “There certainly is! My stupid computer keeps telling me I’ve got mail!”

In today’s gospel passage from Matthew 8: 28-34, we read how Jesus was met by two demon-possessed-men and how Jesus freed them while sending the demons into herd of swine who were grazing around the area. Shortly after calming the ragging storm as we read in yesterday’s gospel passage, Jesus and His apostles landed into the country of the Gadarenes. The region of the Gadarenes is located southeast of the Sea of Galilee, near the town of Gadara and is one of the most important cities in that region. The land of the Gadarenes and several other cities surrounding it were largely inhabited by Gentiles, which explains the herd of swine as Jews did not raise or eat pigs because for them pigs were considered unclean and thus unfit for human consumption. Here, it is interesting to know how the demons confronted Jesus after identifying Him as the Son of God. We read in the Sacred Scriptures that at the end of time, the devil and all his angels will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone (Revelation 20: 10). No wonder the demons confronted Jesus and asked if He had come to torment and destroy them before the appointed time—indicating that they already know their fate and destination at the end of time. The demons begged Jesus not to destroy them but to send them into the herd of swine that was grazing nearby—a request that Jesus granted. At His command then, the demons left the men, and rushed into the swine and the whole herd rushed into the sea and drowned. The herdsmen ran into the city and reported everything that had happened, and the people implored Jesus to leave their territory. People who are possessed by demon live under the control and influence of the devil. Demons are fallen angels who joined their master Satan to rebel against God. They are evil spirits under the total control of Satan. However, these demons and even their master Satan lose their power whenever they are confronted by Jesus. Of course, they recognize Jesus as the Son of God, the Messiah, and the Savior of the world. God appointed Him and sent Him to set mankind free from slavery to sin, free from the grip of Satan and his agents and to rescue mankind from the shackles of death.

Dear Friends, as we face God this day, let us remember the lessons Jesus is teaching us in today’s gospel passage. We are not to turn our backs on people we consider as unclean or repulsive to us, or who violate our moral standards and religious beliefs. Let us realize that every human being is a unique creation of God needing to be touched by His love. From the point of view of the Jewish ceremonial laws, the demon-possessed-men were unclean in that: a) They were Gentiles, b) They were demon possessed and c) They lived in a graveyard. Yet Jesus helped them. By sending the demons into the herd of swine and by seeing the whole herd drown into the sea, Jesus is emphasizing the importance of individual life over every other thing. However, the people of the city considered their swine more important than the lives of the possessed men and their healing and liberation from the grip of Satan made no impact on them. Are you more concerned about property and material possessions than human beings? Human beings are created in God’s image and likeness and have eternal value. How unfortunate that today people place more emphasis on their possessions, investments and even animals above human life. Would you rather have Jesus leave you than finish the work in you? Jesus our Savior and Redeemer is very much eager and willing to free you from the tombs of sin, evil addictions, and habits. Let us invite Him into our lives today and receive Him with love so that we may experience the joy and freedom of God’s children. Surrender to Him today every aspect of your life and you will witness a transformation that will endear you to His loving heart.        

God loves you and so do I
 
 
 
Daily Reflection: July 2, 2020

My Dear Friends in Christ:

JOKES: 1) A mother decided it was time that her three sons get baptized. On the designated Sunday morning as they were on their way to Church, the mother noticed that her nine-year-old seemed to be a bit preoccupied. When she asked him what the problem was, he said, “Mom, I want to be baptized first.” “Why do you want to go first?” She asked. “Because,” he began and then paused for a few seconds, “I really don’t want to be baptized in water that has all of my brothers’ sins floating around in it.”

2) A father took his three young children including his five-year-old daughter to Church. As usual, he sat in the front row so that the children could properly observe the service. During this service, the minister was performing the baptism of a tiny infant. The little five-year-old girl was mesmerized as she observed the ceremony. With a quizzical look on her face, the little girl turned to her father and asked, “Daddy, why is he brainwashing that baby?”

In today’s gospel passage from Mathew 9: 1-8, we read how Jesus demonstrated to all present His power to forgive sins. Having been asked to leave their territory by the Gadarenes after healing the demon possessed men, Jesus got into the boat and sailed to His own city. “His own city” as referred in today’s gospel passage is Capernaum—a good choice for Jesus’ headquarters of operations. Upon His arrival at the seashore, they presented to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. On seeing the paralyzed man, Jesus had pity on him, and His first words were: “Your sins are forgiven you.” Both the man’s body and his spirit were sick and paralyzed. The sick man could not walk; he did not know anything about Jesus and have given up any hope of being healed. But for Jesus, this man’s spiritual health was far more important than his physical deformity. We must be careful not to be overly concerned about God’s power to heal physical sickness more than His power to forgive spiritual sickness in the form of sin. Because He is God and because He knows the deepest thoughts in our minds and hearts, He knew for certain that this man needed more of spiritual cleansing than physical healing. After forgiving his sins, Jesus went ahead and healed the man and restored him to physical well-being. However, Jesus was immediately attacked by the scribes who accused Him of blasphemy. Blaspheming is claiming to be God and applying His characteristics to yourself. But the scribes did not understand that Jesus is God and as such has the authority and power to forgive sins and heal souls. In forgiving the man and healing his physical ailment, Jesus showed that His words were true—the power to forgive sins and to heal as well. Talk is cheap, but our words lack meaning if our actions do not back them up.

Dear Friends, as we face God this day, let us remember that we too need spiritual healing and cleansing. Jesus came to liberate us from slavery of sin and death, and we need to approach Him always to seek healing of mind, soul, and body. He gave us the Sacrament of Reconciliation where we are privileged to confess our sins to God and to obtain His mercy and pardon. When we go to confession and obtain forgiveness from God, we come out refreshed and nourished. Our joy is complete when we hear from the priest’s mouth the same words Jesus spoke to the paralytic in today’s gospel passage: “Your sins are forgiven.” Jesus’ teaching is an invitation to every one of us to be merciful and loving to those we encounter every day. We can say we love God or our neighbor, but if we are not taking practical steps to demonstrate that love, our words are empty and meaningless. How well do your actions back up what you say? Today’s gospel passage teaches us that we can never be right physically until we are right spiritually. We must understand that health in body and peace with God are two sides of a coin.  

Wishing you a mercy-filled and grace-filled day.

God loves you and so do I

 

Daily Reflection: July 3, 2020

My Dear Friends in Christ:

JOKE: NEEDING JUST A LITTLE SLEEP. A man had been driving all night and by morning was still far from his destination. He decided to stop at the next city he came to and park somewhere quiet so he could get an hour or two of sleep. The quiet place he chose happened to be on one of the city's major jogging routes. No sooner had he settled back to snooze when there came a knocking on his window. He looked out and saw a jogger running in place. "Excuse me sir," the jogger said, "do you have the time?" The man looked at the car clock and answered, "8.15." "Thanks," responded the jogger as he jogged off. The man settled down again and soon another jogger tapped on his window, "Excuse me, sir. Do you have the time?" "8.25," answered the man. The jogger said thanks and left. Now the man could see other joggers passing by, and he knew it was only a matter of time before another one disturbed him. To avoid the problem, he got a pen and paper and put a sign in the window saying, "I do not know the time!" Once again, he settled back to sleep. He was just dozing off when there was another knock on the window. "Sir! Sir! It's 8.45."

The Church is celebrating today the feast of St. Thomas. He was an apostle and a martyr. Thomas, who was surnamed ‘Didymus’ meaning the twin was an unlearned simple fisherman from Galilee. Jesus called him to become one of the apostles. A careful look at his life and ministry reveal his great love for his Master. We see this when he showed his readiness to accompany Jesus to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead. While the other apostles were afraid for fear of the Jews, Thomas said: “Let us go with Him; that we may die with Him!” It was Thomas who declared at the Last Supper: “Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” He has come to be called the “Doubting Thomas” from his refusal to believe in the Lord’s Resurrection even when the other apostles told him that they have seen the Risen Lord. A week later, however, when he was present, Jesus appeared again to His disciples and called Thomas out to take a good look at His hands, feet, and side. It was at that moment that Thomas uttered that timeless act of faith which many Christian believers express in the silence of their hearts during the elevation of the Blessed Eucharist in the Mass and during Benediction. “My Lord and my God.” The missionary activities of St Thomas after the Lord’s resurrection were among the Medes, Persians, and the neighboring Indian Communities. He was believed to have been put to death with the spear in AD 72. He is regarded as the patron saint of Architects and builders on account of the legend which tells of an Indian prince giving him large sums of money for the erection of a magnificent palace, but he convinced him of the advantage of laying up treasures in heaven instead by distributing the funds among the poor.  

Dear Friends, as we face God this day, let us with joy whole heartedly embrace the kind of faith exhibited by Thomas when he realized and embraced the truth after seeing the Resurrected Lord. Living Faith enables us to see the risen Lord in everyone and gives us willingness to render each one loving service. Thomas doubted, but his doubt led him to surrender his doubt in the face of the truth and hope the risen Lord offered. We can doubt without having to live a doubting way of life. Doubt encourages rethinking. Its purpose is more to sharpen the mind than to change it. Doubt can be used to pose a question, get an answer, and push for a decision. So, when you experience doubt, take encouragement from Thomas. He did not stay in his doubt but allowed Jesus to bring him to believe. Take encouragement also from the fact that countless other followers of Christ have struggled with doubts. The answers God gave them may help you too to grow in your faith. Remember that Jesus does not reject doubts that are honest and directed toward faith. Better to doubt out loud than to disbelieve in silence.

St Thomas pray for us

God loves you and so do I