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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Wednesday in the Octave of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

John, Chapter 20, Verse 26-28
26Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace* be with you.” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” 28Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Thomas and the Disciples after the death of Christ were afraid; very afraid. When Christ returns alive, he does not shame them and Thomas. No, he gives them His peace. Therefor be at peace. If you like Thomas have not believed; go to confession and proclaim afterward “My Lord and my God!”

In Lock Down[1]
  • The disciples meet at a house. They lock all the doors because they're still afraid of what might happen to them if the religious authorities find them. Probably smart.
  • Suddenly, Jesus comes into the room and greets them.
  • Surprise!
  • He shows the disciples the wounds on his hands and in his side, and the disciples are thrilled to see him again.
  • Jesus tells them that they are being sent out, and then… he breathes on them. They have now received the Holy Spirit and have the power to forgive the sins of others. Pretty cool.
No Doubt About It
  • Thomas, however, wasn't around to see any of this. Later, he rejoins the disciples and they tell him everything. Thomas isn't buying it. He says that, until he sees the nail marks and wounds on Jesus first-hand, he's not going to believe their story. Thomas needs proof of life.
  • A week later, the disciples are meeting again in the same house and Thomas is there. What could possibly happen? Oh yeah. Again, all the doors are locked, but again, Jesus comes. Of course.
  • He greets the disciples and then tells Thomas that he's free to put his hand in the wound in his side and shows him the nail marks on his hands.
  • Jesus heard what you said, Thomas. Don't you feel silly now? Jesus tells him not to doubt, but to believe.
  • Faced with some pretty strong evidence, Thomas believes whole-heartedly. Duh.
  • Jesus says it's great that he believes, but it's even better when people who haven't seen him believe. Like Christians are going to have to do for the next couple millennia.
Feast of St Thomas[2]

St. Thomas was one of Jesus' disciples. He is best known for being the one disciple who wanted proof of Jesus' resurrection. St. Thomas is celebrated with a feast day in both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. He is often referred to as Doubting Thomas, and also the name The Twin. Many Christians see themselves in St. Thomas because he doubted the resurrection until he received proof from Christ himself. He also confessed to not understanding Jesus when Christ told his disciples at the Last Supper that he was preparing a place for them.

St Thomas Facts

·         An early church text claims that Thomas was the only witness to the Assumption of Mary into heaven.  As her body entered heaven, she dropped her girdle.  Medieval art often depicts Thomas catching the girdle.
·         Thomas didn't believe the apostles when they saw Jesus the first time after the resurrection.  He saw Jesus himself during his second appearance and touched the wounds on his hands and side (John 20:24-29).
·         Church tradition says that Thomas traveled to eastern lands, including Persia, to evangelize to the people there about Jesus.  He is thought to have settled in India.
·         The feast day is held July 3, but sermons the following Sunday may also mention St. Thomas and faith. Originally the feast day for St. Thomas was on Dec. 21, the shortest day of the year.  All sorts of traditions surrounded the day, including serving meat pies and charitable giving.

St Thomas Top Events and Things to Do

·         Read writings by St. Thomas.  Several early church documents bearing Thomas' name are popular, including the Gospel of Thomas, which is a collection of Jesus' sayings.  Other texts include the Acts of Thomas and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas.  None of these texts were included in the Bible.
·         Thousands of Indians claim to be descendants of the Christians that Thomas helped to convert.  Join them on a pilgrimage in Paylador to the traditional spot of Thomas' tomb, Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral of the Syro-Malabar Archdiocese of Trichur (Kerala, India).
·         If you are a single woman try an ancient custom performed on the Feast of St. Thomas to get an idea who you will marry.  Unmarried Austrian women would climb into bed over a stool, throw their shoes with toes pointing downward toward the bedroom door, and then sleep with their head at the foot of the bed.  Women who performed this ritual were thought to dream about their future husbands.
·         Say a blessing prayer for your property on the feast of St. Thomas.  An ancient custom was for farmers and their sons or hands to drive off evil spirits in preparation for Christmas.  They were sprinkling holy water across the land, while other family members stayed inside and prayed the rosary.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         90 Days for our Nation, 54-day rosary-Day 49

* A person with fear of the Lord is filled with peace, faith, hope and love.

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