Tuesday, July 3, 2007

St. Thomas

Today is the feast of St. Thomas, one of this blog's patrons. After expressing doubt that the risen Christ had appeared to the other disciples, Jesus appeared to Thomas and invited him to examine his wounded hands and side.

I have often wondered why Jesus resurrected body would still have his wounds. The account in John's gospel would suggest that this was believed by the Church in the first century! It has been carried forward in religious art. In today's meditation in Magnificat, St. Anthony of Padua relates the wounds of Christ to Isaiah saying that God has written us in the palms of his hands (Isaiah 49.16). St. Anthony gives 3 reasons for this: 1) to show the scars of his wounds to the Father as a reminder of our need for mercy, 2) in order not to forget us, and 3) "He has written in his hands what kind of people we should be and in whom we should believe."

We are all like Thomas. We believe yet we want proof. By his wounds Jesus is telling us as he told Thomas "be not faithless, but believe." (John 20:27). As it says in the Anima Christi, "O good Jesus hear me, within thy wounds hide me..."