Feast of Saint Thomas, Apostle

Some think that Saint Thomas got a raw deal.  Other Apostles are not known by their failures or weakest moments.  There is no common expression referring to Saint Peter as “rash Peter.”  Or “impetuous Peter.”  Or “denying Peter.”  James and John, who either saw their mother ask for the seats of honor for eternity with Jesus (Matthew’s account) or asked for it themselves (Mark’s account), are not known as “the ambitions sons of Zebedee.”  We do not often refer to ten of the Apostles as “track stars” for their ability to run away from Jesus’ Passion.  But poor Saint Thomas will forever be known as “doubting Thomas.”

Saint Thomas was a great promoter of the faith.  We understand that he was responsible for carrying Christianity all the way to India.  In a day when there was no car, train, or air travel.  What a hazardous and arduous journey that must have been.

Saint Thomas is the patron saint of India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.  He was a man who was capable of expressions of great courage.  When Jesus announced that they would return to Bethany just before Jesus would raise Lazarus from the dead, Thomas, knowing that they were going to where Jesus had many enemies, said, “Let us also go to die with him.”  Some of Saint Thomas’ relics can be found in the Santhome Cathedral Basilica in Chennai, Mylapore, India. 

Perhaps, though, Saint Thomas is most remembered positively for his exclamation at seeing the risen Lord.  “My Lord and my God.”  We hear this exclamation in today’s Gospel for his feast day.

This is an exclamation that many priests and faithful (including myself) say quietly to themselves at the consecration of the Eucharist.  It is an expression of faith from the heart.  It is a recognition of the awesomeness that we behold.  It is a recognition of the special and very Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the gift of the Eucharist that he left with us and with his Church. 

Have we had moments where we exclaimed in faith “My Lord and my God” as Saint Thomas did?  Do we feel that exclamation welling up inside us at Mass, especially at the consecration?