by Fr. Ed Liptak, SDB
From Easter Day on, the Gospels record witness after witness of the Resurrection. The women who found the empty tomb, were assured by an angel that Jesus had risen. They raced back to tell the Apostles. Peter and John ran and found the burial cloths, but not Jesus. Mary Magdalene saw him first. He also met with two disciples sadly leaving Jerusalem. They realized it was him only as He Broke Bread. They too hurried back with the message, and suddenly in the Upper Room Jesus appeared. He invited them to touch him, asked for some food and ate with them. He rebuked them for their lack of faith.
Thomas was not with his fellow Apostles when Jesus appeared. He could not believe the good news. However, in God’s plan he was destined for Divine Mercy. At the Jordan when Jesus was determined to go up to visit Martha and Mary even though he knew that the temple elite were seeking to kill him, it was Thomas who spoke up: “Let us also go, so that we may die with him.” Those are words of a dedicated disciple.
The raising of Lazarus spurred the temple elite into even more anxious plans to kill Jesus. Yet, Thomas and the Apostles stuck with him through hostile days. After a period of hiding, he decided to go in triumph, into Jerusalem. They went dangerous as it was. At last, the Apostles with Thomas among them, entered with Jesus the place of the Last Supper.
Thomas accepted the washing of feet and heard the prediction of Jesus that one of them would betray him. Thomas, like the others, protested that it could not be, nor would they be scattered after Jesus was gone. Jesus said that he would prepare a place for them where he was going and that they knew the way. Thomas boldly asked how they could know that since they had no idea where he was going. He won from Christ a glorious reply: “I am the way, the truth and the life.” To know him, said Jesus, was to know the way to God. Thank you, Thomas.
True, he was not there on Resurrection evening. But God’s plan was to use the pure profession of Easter faith of Thomas also to be ours for all times. Thomas, again we must thank you. With you and by God’s Mercy, with eyes of faith in the Risen Lord, we too proclaim, “My Lord and my God!”