Commentary on the Gospel of

Mike Cherney - Creighton University Physics Department

Feast of Saint Thomas, Apostle


Today is the feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle. In the passage from Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, he describes the community of believers both as a household and as a temple. The Psalm praising the Lord is mixed with a charge from Mark’s Gospel to share the Good News. The Gospel is the well-known story of Thomas questioning Jesus’ resurrection.

My sense is that Thomas may have been mistreated by history. Although he is the one who is known for expressing his doubt, I do not feel that he was unreasonable in his responses. I can remember when my sister died. I would have liked a miracle that brought her physically back to life. I can remember thinking at her funeral how much I would have liked a Lazarus type of resurrection. This was not a reasonable thing to expect. My guess is that even if family members had told me that they had been visited by her, I would not have been expecting to find an empty coffin. Instead, my thought would have been that these family members had been through a lot and that sometimes dreams can seem very real.

From the scripture accounts, Thomas seems to have had a genuine commitment to Jesus and his work. Thomas shows his willingness to take on and die at the hands of those with power in Chapter 11 of John’s Gospel. In the Last Supper account in John’s Gospel, Thomas is the one who asks Jesus where He is going and how do we get there. This leads me to think that Thomas was not one who took his belief in Jesus lightly. I also reflect on the whole of the apostles (not just Thomas) needing the Spirit on Pentecost for the fervor to spread Jesus’ message.

Tradition may give some additional insight into Thomas. Thomas was believed to have been a carpenter by trade. Perhaps this may have given him a more practical, action-oriented point of view as well as some understanding of Jesus’ background. In post-Pentecost times, Thomas was the one credited with bringing the Good News to China and India being martyred in the process.

My prayer today considers how I fit into Thomas’ legacy.

Dear Lord,
My sense is that questioning can be a natural part in the process of coming to a deeper understanding.
My career has taught me that confidence comes through personal and shared experiences.
I see You gifting faith through these experiences.
I thank You for the ways in which You seem to touch our lives and share Your presence.
I ask for Your guidance in coming to and sharing awareness of Your gifts.
Allow me to see my part in the household and temple of believers.


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