Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle – July 3 – John 20:24-29
The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle is John 20:24-29.
After rising from the dead in the predawn hours of Easter Sunday and appearing to multiple eyewitnesses, Easter evening comes and the Apostles (and perhaps other disciples) are holed up behind locked doors in the Upper Room, afraid of the Jews. Suddenly, Christ mysteriously enters despite the “locked” door. He first gives them His peace, reconciling with all those who abandoned Him on the Cross. Christ shows His wounded hands and side, confirming that His crucified body has been resurrected but glorified with mysterious new powers. Again giving the Apostles His peace, Christ “sends” them to spread the Gospel, as the Father sent the Son. Anticipating the great rush of the wind of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), Christ breathes on the Apostles, ordaining them with the Holy Spirit and giving them the exclusive power to forgive or not to forgive sins.
The Apostle Thomas, for an unknown reason, is absent when Christ appears on Easter Sunday and refuses to believe that Christ has risen unless he personally sees and touches Christ’s wounds. Eight days later on the Second Sunday of Easter, Christ returns, again mysteriously entering despite the locked door. After giving the disciples peace, Christ, with supernatural knowledge of Thomas’ doubt, offers Thomas the chance to touch His wounds. Thomas, now believes and exalts Christ, “My Lord and my God!” Christ rebukes Thomas, promising “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”
Absolutely convinced by Christ, St. Thomas lived the rest of his life as a witness to Christ. Tradition holds that St. Thomas traveled to India and and proclaimed Christ, served the poor and established the “Christians of St. Thomas”. St. Thomas was martyred by spearing on a hill now called St. Thomas Mount, where he is still venerated. Sometime later, the relics (bones) of St. Thomas were returned to the Mediterranean and continue to be venerated at the Basilica of St. Thomas in Ortona, Italy.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Divine King, Christ calls weak men, inspires and strengthens them to do extraordinary things. Divine Prophet, Christ teaches and acts in mysterious ways to correct and bring men to faith. Divine Martyr, Christ, through His Crucification and Resurrection inspires the Apostles and countless martyrs across the centuries to sacrifice their lives for the Gospel.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Divine Prophet, Christ’s words and acts powerfully change the hearts and minds of men. Marvel at how Christ,in a moment, changes St. Thomas’ disbelief with His shocking challenge for St. Thomas to place his hand into the gaping wound in Christ’s side.
2) Many Catholic men are falling away from the Church because they “doubt” the reality of Christ’a Resurrection or the infallible teachings of His Catholic Church. Reflect on Doubt (CCC 644, 2088-2089, 2119) and pray for Christ to give you faith and Prudence (CCC 1806) to come to completely believe like St. Thomas. St. Thomas, pray for us.
3) In busyness and distractions of the world, men forget about the powerful champions Christ has given men in the Saints. Renew your understanding of the Communion of the Saints (CCC 946-962, 2683) and pray for Christ to help you to be strengthened by your patron Saint(s) (CCC 2165, 2156) and those Saints who can help you prevail over your life challenges.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Souls in Purgatory
Virtue of the Day – Prudence
Corporal Work of Mercy – To give drink to the thirsty
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To instruct the ignorant