St. Thomas the Apostle: A Faithful Disciple of Jesus
In the Catholic faith, St. Thomas the Apostle stands out as a remarkable figure who teaches us valuable lessons about following Jesus. Despite being unfairly labeled as a doubter, Thomas sought the same confirmation that the other disciples received. His unwavering devotion to Christ and his journey from doubt to unwavering faith inspire us to deepen our own relationship with God. Let’s explore the life of this remarkable saint and discover the lessons he teaches us about being faithful disciples.
Out of the twelve apostles, Jesus handpicked Thomas to be one of His closest followers. Thomas, also known as “the Twin,” was known for his strong commitment and loyalty. Jesus chose him to witness His teachings, miracles, and most importantly, His resurrection. Thomas sets an example for all of us, showing the importance of being dedicated to Christ’s mission and following Him wholeheartedly.
St. Thomas is famously known for his moment of doubt following Christ’s resurrection. He expressed his skepticism when the other apostles shared the news of the risen Lord. However, it is essential to understand that doubt is not inherently negative; rather, it can be a catalyst for deeper faith. St. Thomas’s doubts were transformed into unshakeable faith when he encountered Jesus, who invited him to touch His wounds. This encounter reminds us that Christ meets us in our doubts and strengthens our faith through His love and mercy.
Thomas’s doubt transformed into unwavering faith. He exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” This declaration shows us that encountering Jesus personally can strengthen our faith and help us overcome our doubts.
A Saint for Seekers
Thomas’s story resonates with those who question and seek truth in their lives. His journey from doubt to faith reminds us that it’s okay to have questions and uncertainties. Thomas teaches us that faith is a conscious choice to follow Jesus, even when we have doubts. Just as Thomas sought confirmation, we too can seek encounters with Christ to strengthen our own faith.
St. Thomas’s commitment to spreading the Good News took him on a mission to distant lands, including India. There, he faced challenges and opposition. Despite the difficulties, Thomas remained steadfast in his mission, eventually giving his life as a martyr for the sake of the Gospel. His sacrifice teaches us the importance of embracing our own calling with courage and determination.
St. Thomas the Apostle is a shining example of a faithful disciple of Jesus. Despite being unfairly labeled, Thomas’s unwavering commitment, his journey from doubt to faith, and his ultimate sacrifice inspire us to deepen our own relationship with God. Let us turn to St. Thomas as a guide and intercessor, seeking his assistance in our quest for a deeper understanding of Christ and the courage to proclaim the Gospel in our daily lives. May we learn from his example and emulate his unwavering faith as we strive to live as true disciples of Jesus Christ.
His feast day is July 3.
Patron Saint of …
St. Thomas is the patron saint of architects, builders, and India.
He is considered the patron saint of architects and builders because of the belief that he was involved in constructing churches. According to tradition, he played a role in constructing the first Christian churches in India and elsewhere, showcasing his skill and dedication to building structures of worship. As a result, architects and builders seek his intercession for guidance, inspiration, and protection in their work.
He is revered as the patron saint of India because of his significant missionary activities in the country. Tradition holds that he traveled to India to spread the Gospel and establish Christian communities, particularly in the regions of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. St. Thomas’s missionary efforts and his martyrdom in India have earned him a special place in the hearts of Indian Christians. Consequently, he is honored as the patron saint of the country, representing his influence and devotion to spreading Christianity in that region.
Daily Mass Readings for the Feast of Saint Thomas, Apostle
- First Reading – Ephesians 2:19-22: No longer outsiders, you’re now part of God’s household, built on the Apostles and prophets, with Christ as the key stone. In him, we grow into a holy temple, a home for God’s Spirit.
- Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 117: All nations, all peoples, praise the Lord! Celebrate his enduring kindness and unshakeable faithfulness. Spread this Good News to the world!
- Gospel – John 20:24-29: Thomas, one of the disciples, was not present when Jesus appeared to the others after His resurrection. When told about it, Thomas expressed doubt, saying he needed physical proof. A week later, Jesus appeared to Thomas, inviting him to touch His wounds and believe. Thomas acknowledged Jesus as “My Lord and my God,” and Jesus blessed those who believe without seeing.
The Litany of Belief is a prayer inspired by the father of a boy possessed by a demon (Mark 9:24) and the profession of faith by St. Thomas the Apostle (John 20:28). The prayer incorporates the responses “I do believe, help my unbelief” and “My Lord and my God.”
Homilies and Reflections for the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle
Bishop Robert Barron reflects on the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle, highlighting the rich tradition of questioning and seeking understanding within Catholicism. Drawing parallels to the works of St. Thomas Aquinas and the famous quote from Hamlet, Bishop Barron emphasizes that limiting ourselves to what is visible and controllable would hinder our understanding of reality. The interplay between knowing and believing exists in various aspects of life, and informed faith opens the door to experiencing God’s mysterious workings beyond what can be seen and fully understood, leading to a deep and blessed relationship with Him.
In this USCCB video reflection on the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle, we explore the various nicknames associated with Thomas, including Doubting Thomas and Didymus the Twin. Rather than focusing on his doubts, we can highlight Thomas’s bravery and willingness to confront the marks of pain and death. The wounds of Christ, still present on the Risen Lord, became a sign of life for Thomas. We must embrace our own wounds and struggles, recognizing that it is precisely in our brokenness that the Lord can transform and bring forth new life. Thomas serves as a source of strength, reminding us to trust in God’s transforming grace and to find hope in the midst of pain.
St. Thomas’s experience of doubt and encounter with the risen Jesus connect to the theme of belief and trust in the All Things Visible and Invisible Lesson Plan. Like Thomas, we often struggle to believe in what we haven’t witnessed or understand. But Jesus doesn’t dismiss our doubts; instead, He meets us where we are. Thomas’s story reassures us that Jesus invites us to touch His wounds, revealing His intimate love for us.