Jesus’ words to Thomas (Jn 20:24-29) that we read on this his feast day have given the poor man untold grief this past two millennia. I, for one, do not think it is deserved. Considering the cast of characters that were Jesus’ constant companions during His ministry, do you really think any one of them (or us) would have behaved any differently if he were the one to have been absent at Jesus’ first appearance on that glorious Sunday? Even though Jesus was explicit in speaking of His death and resurrection, shock, grief, fear, inattentiveness, or whatever, made them in no state of mind to process the whole situation.
Yet, Thomas had an extraordinary grace given to him! The invitation to touch the wounds that healed all of us (see Is 53:5). The gospels do not record whether Thomas took the Lord up on His offer (I’m betting he didn’t, although Caravaggio [see the painting below] thinks differently), but what an opportunity for him. I am reminded of the stigmatists, like St. Francis of Assisi, St. Catherine of Siena, and Padre Pio, who in their own way touched the wounds of Jesus — but here Thomas was with the glorified Lord who humbly offers His body to Thomas (as He does to us at each Mass).
Caravaggio, The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, 1601/2, oil on canvas
I invite you to read a recent article on this same subject.
St. Thomas, Apostle, pray for us. And, for you, dear reader, no doubt (hehe), your Tom, Tommy, Thomas, and Thomasina friends would be happy to receive your prayers, through St. Thomas’s intercession, this day.