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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Memorial of the apostle Thomas. He confessed Jesus as his Lord and, according to tradition, witnessed him all the way to India

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If we die with him, we shall live with him,
if with him we endure, with him we shall reign.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 20, 24-29

Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.

So the other disciples said to him, 'We have seen the Lord,' but he answered, 'Unless I can see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.'

Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them. 'Peace be with you,' he said.

Then he spoke to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving any more but believe.'

Thomas replied, 'My Lord and my God!'

Jesus said to him: You believe because you can see me. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If we die with him, we shall live with him,
if with him we endure, with him we shall reign.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Thomas called Dydimus. The Gospel of John speaks of him many times in connection with the great mysteries of Jesus’ glorification. He is a man of generous gestures as evidenced at the death of Lazarus, when he exhorts the other disciples to go with Jesus even if they risk death. Tradition claims that Thomas evangelised Persia and the western coast of India where he died a martyr: the Christians of Malabar consider him the founder of their Church. The Gospel we heard speaks of him on the evening of Easter when Jesus comes among the disciples who were gathered in the upper room. Thomas was absent. He is the only one who is not there. His heart is wounded for what happened, but Thomas goes far from the others. With him are absent all those men and women, we included, that from that day on would not receive the proclamation of the Gospel of the resurrection from the apostles. When the other disciples told him what had happened, Thomas did not believe them. For Thomas and not only for him, it was impossible that from anything dead could appear. It is inconceivable that a crucified person may come back to life. He is a realistic man who in the end, as often happens, becomes cynical and hard, almost vulgar when he speaks about Jesus’ hands and side; his words reveal suffering and also a cruel impossibility to hope. To a cynical man hope seems an illusion and evil the last word over life. The following Sunday, Jesus returns and again greets his disciples with peace. Hope is insistent and always asks for many confirmations. All need hope because evil seems always definitive and love provisory and uncertain. Jesus says to Thomas, “Do not doubt but believe” and invites him to put his finger and his hand in the wounds left by the spear, all that was the reason of his suspicion. At this point the disciple falls to his knees and professes his faith: “My Lord and my God!” It is not Thomas who touches Jesus’ wounded body; rather Jesus’ words touch Thomas’ heart and move him. Perhaps there is a little bit of Thomas in each of us when we have difficulties and doubts, when we suffer because we cannot believe, when we suffer because it is impossible to love, when we hardly can hope. But all this somehow draws us closer to faith. Jesus continues to return, from Sunday to Sunday, and he tells us, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” His words are sufficient for us to believe if we let our hearts be touched by him. People of faith are not those who are convinced, rather those who trust and believe even when they do not see.

Memory of the Apostles

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 18 June
Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ
Monday, 19 June
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 20 June
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 21 June
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 22 June
Memory of the Church
Friday, 23 June
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 24 June
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 25 June
Liturgy of the Sunday