But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Today the Church honors the apostle Thomas, a fitting saint for this eve of our country’s Independence Day celebration. The Ephesians passage chosen for his feast reminds us that “you are strangers and aliens no longer:” It tells us further that “you form a building…to become a dwelling place for God in the Spirit.” As we in the United State struggle with knotty issues of immigration, this reading holds up the reality that our own family ancestors arrived here from countries near and far. In every generation we have faced issues of belonging. And so often it has been church communities that have helped newcomers navigate these realities of identity and inclusion. As I listen to new voices and languages, as my horizons get stretched through walking with families new to our land, perhaps my own values and perspectives are both stretched and strengthened.
In today’s gospel Jesus enters the upper room where his fearful disciples are huddled. His simple greeting is “Peace be with you.” This weekend of national pride, may this be our greeting to and pray for one another, especially our new neighbors.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me so love.
Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith, Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light. And where there is sadness, joy.
—St. Francis of AssisiPlease share the Good Word with your friends!