Thomas was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. In the Syriac language his name means “twin.” Once when Jesus was going to face the danger of being killed, the other apostles tried to keep the Master back. St. Thomas said to them, “Let us also go, that we may die with him” (John 11:16).
When Jesus was captured by his enemies, Thomas lost his courage. He ran away with the other apostles. His heart was broken with sorrow at the death of his beloved Lord. Then on Easter Sunday, Jesus appeared to his apostles after he had risen from the dead. He showed them the wounds in his hands and side. Thomas was not with them at the time. As soon as he arrived, the other apostles told him joyfully, “We have seen the Lord.” They thought Thomas would be happy. Instead, he did not believe their message. He hadn’t seen Jesus as they had.
“Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails,” he said, “and put my finger into the nailmarks, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Eight days later, Jesus appeared to his apostles again. This time, Thomas was there, too. Christ called him and told him to touch his hands and the wound in his side. Thomas fell down at the Master’s feet and cried out, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, Thomas, you have believed. Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed.” You will find this story in the Gospel of John 20: 24–29.
After Pentecost, Thomas was strong and firm in his belief and trust in Jesus. It is said that he went to India to preach the Gospel. He died a martyr there, after proclaiming the Good News of Jesus to many people.
We often hear of St. Thomas referred to as the “doubter.” But the moment he saw the Risen Christ he made an unwavering act of faith. When the priest lifts the sacred Host at Mass, we too can pray the words of St. Thomas, “My Lord and my God!”
St. Thomas pray for us.