Sunday of Thomas

The feast of Thomas falls on the first Sunday after the Resurrection. Thomas was one of the twelve disciples chosen by Christ (Mt. 10:3; Mk. 3:18; Lk. 6:15; Jn. 11:16). In Saint John’s Gospel, he is always referred to as Didymus (Aramaic, twin).

When Jesus Christ appeared to the disciples after His resurrection, Thomas was not present (Jn. 20), and on hearing of it he was skeptical. He suspended his belief pending actually seeing the marks of the wounds with his own eyes and touching them with his own fingers. When, therefore, Jesus appeared to the disciples the following Sunday He asked Thomas to dispel his doubts, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing” (Jn. 20:27).

A clearer idea of the true character of Thomas can be grasped if we take into account that he once offered to die with Jesus on His way to see Lazarus in Bethany. “Let us also go, that we may die with him,” said Thomas when he learned that the Jews were seeking to kill Him (Jn. 11:16). One does not doubt the sincerity of such a statement. Though he could not accept facts unless verified by an experience like a great many people who have less faith than reason, the so-called doubting Thomas was the very first among the twelve disciples to confess the divinity of Jesus Christ.

The moment he assured himself of the reality of the scars in Christ’s hands and in His side, faith welled up from within him and he proclaimed, “My and my God.” Christ’s rebuke, however, is of particular significance to all those who share Thomas’s skepticism: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe” (Jn. 20:29).

BISHOP GREGORIOS