Sub-Saharan Africa, 03 July, 2022 / 5:15 am (ACI Africa).
On July 3, the Church celebrates the feast day of St. Thomas the Apostle. Best known for his initial unwillingness to believe the other apostles in their claim that Jesus had risen from the dead, St. Thomas can teach the faithful about believing without seeing.
As an apostle, Thomas was dedicated to following the Lord. Upon hearing that Jesus was returning to Judea, an area that would pose dangers due to the growing animosity of the authorities there, he immediately said to the other apostles, "Let us also go, that we may die with him" (Jn 11: 16).
Yet despite this determination, Thomas proved not only too weak to stand beside Jesus as he faced his crucifixion, but also doubted the Lord’s Resurrection when he was told about it by the other apostles. Denying their story, he told them, "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe" (Jn 20:25).
A week later, Christ appeared and 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." When Thomas did so he exclaimed, "My Lord and my God!"
In his general audience on September 27, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of St. Thomas, explaining that we can learn from his doubts, which show us "that Jesus can now be recognised by his wounds rather than by his face."