Sunday, April 15, 2012

Saints and Scripture Thomas' Declaration of Faith

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and says to them, "Peace be to you." And when He had so said, He showed to them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, "Peace be to you: as my Father has sent Me, even so send I you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and says to them, Receive you the Holy Ghost: "Whose soever sins you remit, they are remitted to them; and whose soever sins you retain, they are retained." But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, We have seen the Lord. But he said to them, "Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe." And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be to you. Then says He to Thomas, "Reach hither your finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither your hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing." And Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and My God."
John 20:19-28

 This is one of my favorite stories of the Apostles and Thomas is tied with Peter for my favorite Apostle. There's so much to this story, for instance its mentioned that he is called Didymus which means "twin". Who's his twin?! (More importantly does he have an evil twin like some kind of Ancient Soap Opera plot device?) Why does Thomas get the bad rap as the disbeliever? The others didn't believe until Jesus was in front of them pointing out His wounds. Thomas and Peter are the only two Apostles I know of that plainly declared Jesus to be God. Also, the distinction is shown here that Thomas calls Him "My Lord and My God." He not only acknowledges Jesus as God, but also as the one he declares loyalty (My Lord). How many times have we and others we know acknowledged Jesus as God, but not as Lord? Saint Theophylact had this to say:

He who had been before unbelieving, after touching the body showed himself the best divine; for he asserted the twofold nature and one Person of Christ; by saying, My Lord, the human nature by saying, My God, the divine, and by joining them both, confessed that one and the same Person was Lord and God.

When Deacon Kent gave his sermon this morning, he pointed out similarities between Jesus and Adam. Adam had his rib removed to create Eve and thus all of mankind by extension. When Jesus had his side opened water and blood flowed out signifying Baptism and Eucharist. As the New Adam, Jesus makes us a new creation through the New Covenant entered into by Baptism and renewed in the Eucharist.
Jesus said also said in this story, "Peace be to you: as My Father sent Me, so I send you." Thomas arrived in India about 55 AD and evangelized there. The communities established there became the Syro-Malabar,  Syro-Malankara Churches and later groups from these Churches reunited with the Catholic Church.

May God bless all who read my ramblings,

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1 comment:

Dianna@KennedyAdventures said...

It's one of my favorite stories too -- mostly because I have a "I'll believe it when I see it attitude."

I love your Deacon's comparison between Adam and Jesus -- it's one I've never thought of before.

Thanks so much for coming by and linking up with Saints and Scripture Sunday!