Although my wife has heard me say these same words to her thousands of times, never once has she complained, "Stop saying the same thing over and over again!" In an intimate, personal relationship, two people may repeat to each other certain expressions of love, and each time the words express the heartfelt affection they have for one another. Repetition is part of the language of love.
In reciting the Hail Mary throughout the rosary, we participate over and over again the wonder-filled response of Gabriel and Elizabeth to the mystery of Christ. The name of Jesus, spoken with tender love, becomes the heartbeat of the the rosary.
–from the book Praying the Rosary Like Never Before
✞ "All the way to heaven is heaven, because Jesus said, 'I am the way.'" — St. Catherine of Siena
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "I was sure that it was better for me to give myself up to your love than to give in to my own desires. However, although the one way appealed to me and was gaining mastery, the other still afforded me pleasure and kept me victim. I had no answer to give to you when you said to me, 'Rise, you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ will enlighten you.' When on all sides you showed me that your words were true, and I was overcome by your truth, I had no answer whatsoever to make, but only those slow and drowsy words, 'Right away. Yes, right away.' 'Let me be for a little while.' But 'Right away—right away' was never right now, and 'Let me be for a little while' stretched out for a long time." — St. Augustine, p. 152 AN EXCERPT FROM Confessions of St. Augustine
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God." Luke 12:8-9
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Saint Thomas the Apostle
Saint of the Day for July 3
(1st Century – December 21, 72)
Saint Thomas the Apostle's Story
Poor Thomas! He made one remark and has been branded as "Doubting Thomas" ever since. But if he doubted, he also believed. He made what is certainly the most explicit statement of faith in the New Testament: "My Lord and My God!" and, in so expressing his faith, gave Christians a prayer that will be said till the end of time. He also occasioned a compliment from Jesus to all later Christians: "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed" (John 20:29).
Thomas should be equally well-known for his courage. Perhaps what he said was impetuous—since he ran, like the rest, at the showdown—but he can scarcely have been insincere when he expressed his willingness to die with Jesus. The occasion was when Jesus proposed to go to Bethany after Lazarus had died. Since Bethany was near Jerusalem, this meant walking into the very midst of his enemies and to almost certain death. Realizing this, Thomas said to the other apostles, "Let us also go to die with him" (John 11:16b).
Thomas shares the lot of Peter the impetuous, James and John, the "sons of thunder," Philip and his foolish request to see the Father—indeed all the apostles in their weakness and lack of understanding. We must not exaggerate these facts, however, for Christ did not pick worthless men. But their human weakness again points up the fact that holiness is a gift of God, not a human creation; it is given to ordinary men and women with weaknesses; it is God who gradually transforms the weaknesses into the image of Christ, the courageous, trusting, and loving one.
Saint Thomas the Apostle is the Patron Saint of:
Feast of Saint Thomas, Apostle
Reading 1 Eph 2:19-22
Brothers and sisters: You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 117:1bc, 2 R. (Mark 16:15) Go out to all the world and tell the Good News. Praise the LORD, all you nations; glorify him, all you peoples! R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News. For steadfast is his kindness for us, and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever. R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
Alleluia Jn 20:29 R. Alleluia, alleluia. You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord; blessed are those who have not seen, but still believe! R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 20:24-29
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, "We have seen the Lord." But Thomas said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe." Now 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." Then 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." Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."
Meditation: John 20:24-29
Saint Thomas, Apostle (Feast)
My Lord and my God! (John 20:28)
St. Thomas often gets a bad rap. He is known mostly as "Doubting Thomas," but that's an unfair portrait of the man. In fact, Thomas may well be one of the greatest unsung heroes of the New Testament.
If you were to look for the most profound act of faith in the Gospels, Thomas' would be near the top of the list: "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28). Not just "Messiah" and not just "Rabbi," but "Lord" and "God." It was also a very personal proclamation: Thomas claimed Jesus not only as "the Lord" but his Lord.
These words didn't come out of the blue. They were the fruit of all the time he had spent with Jesus. They were the result of his determination to listen to Jesus and to follow his lead.
So who was this Thomas the believer? For one, he was zealous and enthusiastic. He was the first apostle to state his willingness to accompany Jesus even if it meant death (John 11:16). He was also hungry to learn more about Jesus. At the Last Supper, it was Thomas who asked, "Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?" (14:5). After Pentecost, Thomas traveled far and wide, ending up in India, where tradition tells us he was martyred in AD 52.
That's quite a résumé! And yet, Thomas is still remembered as the one who doubted. Surely James or Philip or Andrew would have been just as suspicious if they had been in his situation on Easter Sunday. Surely any of us would have found the news of Jesus' resurrection hard to believe. So maybe we should give Thomas a new nickname. Maybe we could call him "Believing Thomas" or "Faithful Thomas" or "Adventurous Thomas."
Today, as you reflect on the way Jesus used Thomas to change the world, ask him to do the same for you. Ask him to give you the same zeal and inquisitiveness and courage that this apostle had. And believe that even when doubt gets the upper hand, it doesn't mean that your story is over. Like Thomas, you, too, can be "blessed" even if you "have not seen" but still believe (John 20:29).
"Jesus, form me as you formed Thomas. Teach me to believe; then send me out as your witness."
Ephesians 2:19-22 Psalm 117:1-2
my2cents: "Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit." A priest said yesterday "together we are saints, separated we are sinners". Try to do it alone, be separated and see not Christ. Do it together and see Christ In Action.
We pray today "Go out to all the world and tell the Good News". Everything of the Lord means this evangelization. Speak of what you have seen and heard. And if you have not seen or heard, then, you are at the right place Thomas! Those who seek, shall find. Those who knock, the door shall be opened!
In comes our Lord, ""Peace be with you." And there was Thomas, hearing those words from the Lord Himself. The Lord approaches the doubts of the seeker and says "... do not be unbelieving, but believe". I AM alive! And this is frightening. Isn't it? The Eucharist comes alive and we are the body of Christ! Christ is seen and heard. Are you still in doubt? The way to see is to come and see! The way to taste is to come and eat! The way to stop doubting is to believe! LOL. It's not rocket science, unless that's all you believe in...the senses and nothing more as if animal kingdoms were all that existed!? No, we are not of the animal kingdom, we are not animals! We are made in God's image. We are a chosen race, the HUMAN race. And the true human is holy. The true human is not inhumane. The true human comes alive in a dead world.
There is a new old lady in our town's nursing home, Cruzita, (little cross), and at Mass last Friday there with them, she kept adding an "amen" during Mass, and "Gloria a Dios", always though, appropriate. Sometimes it was so good, it made me smile, and my mom was there too smiling. Made you feel good. Even our Fr. Joseph was smiling at one point, because it oozed faith of a child, as she clasped her hands before the altar in adoration and as if soaking in everything so good as if it was sumptuous, just so good, savoring every act and word even if she didn't understand. Not a doubt. During the consecration of the Holy Eucharist, as the priest held up the Body of Christ she began singing in Spanish "Dios esta aqui, que hermoso es..." (God is here, how precious it is...). Indeed, that is the moment He enters the room. She could see what most can not...with the heart. And as the priest held up the chalice she began praying the "Come Holy Spirit" prayer. To many, this is a crazy little old lady. To me, I believe her foolishness. I believe she sees what others can not. So have been all the visions of Mary, not everyone could see, only a few chosen. The same with Jesus, not everyone saw, but a few chosen ones. The same today, not everyone will enter, nor taste, nor see, nor hear, only the few chosen ones. And this is good. A few people murmur the words "My Lord, and My God" when the Eucharist is held up. A few believe. Most...don't know.
So why is this such a famous story in the bible? Because it is good. How? Why? Because it shows that our Lord came to fulfill and satisfy the one who is honestly seeking Him. Saint Thomas was saying what he said because he too wanted to see Jesus as if to say "ahh man! Not fair! I want to see too!!!".
Jesus heard him, and his heart prayer, and he appears from thin air. Jesus is among us. So powerful that He can be anywhere at anytime in the world. Most notably, in the presence of those gathered in His name. Gather together and gather with the Lord. There is where He appears. There is where He says "BELIEVE!!"