July 3, 2009
Saint Thomas, apostle
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 he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe." Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe." Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for the gift of faith I received with baptism. I believe all that you have revealed though I recognize that my faith is still small. So I submerge my weak faith now in your overflowing goodness and mercy and trust in you completely. I love you my Lord and my God with all my mind, heart, soul and strength.
Petition: Lord, increase my faith.
1. “I Will Not Believe”
Lord, I live in a culture where I have to know everything. If there are no facts, if I lack evidence, then I refuse to believe. At times, Lord, even with facts and evidence in front of me, I still refuse to believe. I know, Lord, that faith calls for man “to commit his entire self to God” (Dei Verbum5). Thomas refuses to do this when the apostles share the exciting news: “We have seen the Lord” (John 20:25). But their news does not correspond to what Thomas knows. He knows that you died. Maybe he went to the tomb on Saturday. He would have seen the mounted guards there and possibly imagined that there would be no way to take you from the tomb. Do I come up with convincing reasons not to believe? If I do, how can I answer better through faith?
2. “Do Not Be Unbelieving, But Believe”
Lord, Thomas looks at you in the Upper Room as you say this. I recall the words: “Everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32). You invite Thomas to take that step of faith: to leave behind what he knows and to accept your Resurrection. He had seen you raise Lazarus, and now you invite him to believe that you yourself are forever alive. You are God, both living and true. There in the Upper Room, you invite me as you did with Thomas, to believe that you are alive in my life. Lord, I want you to have a strong presence in my life.
3. “Blessed Are Those Who Have Not Seen, and Have Believed”
Lord, I cannot make it to heaven without faith. Your words to Thomas allude to what lies in store for me if I believe until death. I was not present when you walked on the earth, but in the light of what you say to Thomas, this gives me all the more reason to exercise my faith and pray as Thomas did: “My Lord and my God.” You desire my faith, Lord, just as you desired Thomas’. How great you are, Lord! “Faith is first and foremost a personal adherence of man to God” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 150). I want to adhere to you, my Lord and my God.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I believe that you want to be a great part of my life. You want to be the Lord of it. My faith is so little. Help me to increase my faith. Give it what it needs to grow.
Resolution: Today, during the day I will read numbers 150-152 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church about faith, so as to work to increase my faith in God.
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