July 3, 2008
Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
John 20: 24-29
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told 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 in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe." A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that you are present within me. Let me feel your presence in my heart and soul. I want to live this day close to you and see everything through the prism of faith. I want to put my trust and confidence in you. You will grant me all the graces I need today. All I have to do is ask. I want to love you with all my heart, especially in charity, by giving myself to all I meet today so that I can communicate your love to them. Mary, accompany me in this meditation and intercede for me, so that God will grant me what I need to be a better follower of Christ and an apostle of his Kingdom.
Petition: Lord, grant me a faith that knows no doubts.
1. Unless I See… Scientific progress dominates our world. Every day seems to bring new breakthroughs in technology and medicine, and all of this progress is driven by scientific experiment and empirical evidence. It might seem that “belief” has become irrelevant or outdated; yet when we think about it, most of what we know is through belief. We learned by believing what our parents and teachers taught us, and even today we continue to believe – although always with a modicum of skepticism – what we hear or read in the news. Belief is an essential element of our daily experience. And if we can believe other human beings (and the honesty of some of them is often highly suspect), how can we not believe God who is all truth and who will never deceive us?
2. Touch Me and Believe Christ knows that we need to touch him in order to believe in him, and that is why he left us the Eucharist. In his real presence in the Eucharist, we can receive him daily. We can approach him in the tabernacle to talk about our joys and sorrows and ask him for advice. If we go to him, he will also “touch” us in a much deeper way than any other person can. He is a real friend who is always waiting for us.
3. My Lord and My God! Saint Thomas proclaims perhaps the deepest expression of faith found in the New Testament. He confesses that Jesus is both Lord and God. His faith springs from a personal encounter with Christ. Faith does not come from learning one’s catechism, or reading books, or listening to someone preach about Christ, but from personal prayer. It is a gift we have to ask for, one that we can find for ourselves only in intimacy with God – in active participation in Mass, in adoration before the Eucharist, or in simple visits to a church we are passing. Christ is always there for us in the Eucharist. We know where to find him.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, let me touch you in faith. Let me discover you in the great gift of the Eucharist, where you enter me in a real way whenever I receive you in communion. I want to build up a relationship of faith with you in the Eucharist. Like the disciples at Emmaus, I ask you to stay with me and never leave me alone. Like St. Thomas, I need you to increase my faith so that I too can exclaim “My Lord and my God” every time I encounter you in this great sacrament.
Resolution: I will visit Christ in the Eucharist sometime today.
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