St. Thomas and the Eucharist
“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of faith is to see what you believe” – St. Augustine
St. Thomas the Apostle, who is our father in faith made what is certainly the most explicit statement of faith in the New Testament: “Yahweh Elohim” in Hebrew, which means “My Lord and My God!” (John 20:24-28). This is one of the most profound pronouncement of the Divinity of Jesus. This declaration of Jesus as God demonstrates the unconditional acceptance of St. Thomas in the Son of God. Instead of portraying Thomas for the lack of faith or being called as doubting Thomas, St. John in his gospel presented Thomas as a man who desired nothing less than a personal encounter with the Risen Lord.
The appearance of Jesus to St. Thomas occurs immediately after the appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene. Just as Jesus had led Mary Magdalene on her journey to faith, so too would Jesus now lead Thomas to an unconditional faith. Mary Magdalene and the women were the first witnesses to the empty tomb and announced it to the disciples, so too St. Thomas bring the faith in the Resurrection to the future believers. This proclamation of appearance of the Risen Lord by St. Thomas has led all of us to a faith which is not dependent upon “seeing”. In the Gospel we see that St. Thomas was an Apostle who embraced the Risen Christ, so too were subsequent believers, since faith in the Lord was not purely dependent upon ‘seeing’.
Our tradition and faith comes from St. Thomas who has both a personal encounter of divine Jesus and his unwavering faith in our Lord. This is what we experience in every Holy Qurbana. The Eucharistic experience Thomas experienced while he met the Risen Lord is what Church offers – where we find the Risen Lord in every Holy Qurbana. As our father in faith, St. Thomas is the best model for us to follow. Let us all have the ability to “see” the Risen Lord in the Eucharist and say with an unwavering faith “My Lord and My God”!