Thursday, July 3, 2014

See My Hands

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Minute Meditations

Final Purification

If one of our friends was imprisoned in a house of fire, how we should rush to her assistance. Then think how we should try to deliver the souls in purgatory. -Blessed Mary of Providence
— fromSisterhood of Saints

St. Thomas the Apostle
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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!" (see John 20:24-28) 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.


"...rompted by the Holy Spirit, the Church must walk the same road which Christ walked: a road of poverty and obedience, of service and self-sacrifice to the death.... For thus did all the apostles walk in hope. On behalf of Christ's Body, which is the Church, they supplied what was wanting in the sufferings of Christ by their own trials and sufferings (see Colossians 1:24)" (Vatican II, Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity, 5).

Patron Saint of:

Construction workers

Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.


I pause for a moment and think of the love and the grace that God showers on me: I am created in the image and likeness of God; I am God's dwelling-place.


It is so easy to get caught up with the trappings of wealth in this life.
Grant, O Lord, that I may be free from greed and selfishness.
Remind me that the best things in life are free.
Love, laughter, caring and sharing.


I remind myself that I am in the presence of the Lord. I will take refuge in His loving heart. He is my strength in times of weakness.  He is my comforter in times of sorrow.

The Word of God

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.

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."


What is stirring in me as I pray? Am I consoled, troubled, left cold? I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting at my side, and share my feelings with him.


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,

 world without end.

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: John 20:24-29

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Saint Thomas, Apostle

Unless I see ... I will not believe. (John 20:25)

Try to imagine yourself in Thomas' sandals. How do you feel when Jesus appears? No doubt, you are astounded to see him alive. Certainly, you are awestruck to see him as the risen, glorious Lord. Perhaps you become lost in worship as you look into his eyes and touch his wounds. You are filled with gratitude as you realize that he has accomplished nothing less than the salvation of the world.

But if you were Thomas, you might feel like laughing at yourself as well! You've spent three years with Jesus, watching him heal the blind and the lame, drive out demons, and raise the dead. You heard how the tomb was found empty and the stone rolled away and how Mary Magdalene and the others saw Jesus alive. But still you wanted proof. And now here he is, standing right in front of you. It's almost as if he's saying, "Thomas, it really is me! Trust me; I will never abandon you."

It may be hard to imagine Thomas as finally being relieved of his doubts and even chuckling over them. Besides, it can be very easy for us to identify with the first part of his story—especially when we ourselves feel stressed or anxious. We may be going through a serious illness, financial problems, or some other crisis, or maybe something horrible is happening to someone we are close to. We may wonder if God is really going to come through and help. We may even blame ourselves for not having enough faith.

Whenever this happens, think of Thomas. Let Jesus tell you the same thing he told this wavering apostle: "Look at me and trust! Believe, even when you cannot see." Who knows? He may even tell you to laugh in the face of your problem. Jesus promises that if you take just one small step in handing over everything to God "with thanksgiving," then his peace, which "surpasses all understanding," will come to you (Philippians 4:6, 7). So no matter what you are dealing with, look at the cross, and see the finished work of Jesus. Then, with a heart full of praise, cry out, "My Lord and my God!"

"Thank you, Jesus, for being with me at every moment, in good times and bad. I praise you, Lord, for being my Savior!"


Ephesians 2:19-22; Psalm 117:1-2

Did Thomas the Apostle not believe in Jesus Christ or the Resurrection?  Do you believe?  I heard Mother Angelica explain faith as an intellectual ascent and then you have a working faith.  In other words, you can ascent, and with your mind say you believe.  Yet there is the actual faith at work.  The heart at work, the body at work, and the soul at work.  Faith without works is dead.  Yet we can work ourselves to the bone and not really have faith...Thomas.  For all the rosaries I've prayed, the retreats I've been to and lead, and for all the good works I've done, they could be no different than that of the one who has not done a thing "for the Lord".  How can I say that?  For if a doubt launched pandora's box of sin and death, the same could be with this thorn.  And it is these thorns that hurt Christ in the Garden, where the thorns had already pierced His beautiful head before the thorns had pierced him physically.  What thorns?  For all those that would doubt in Him.  Those doubts pierced Him.  Today's first Holy Scripture speaks of the citizens and our citizenship with the Holy Ones.  The reference here would be to Hebrews chapter 12 "

No, you have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering,


and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven,* and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect,


and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently* than that of Abel.



See that you do not reject the one who speaks. For if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much more in our case if we turn away from the one who warns from heaven.


His voice shook the earth at that time, but now he has promised, "I will once more shake not only earth but heaven."t


That phrase, "once more," points to removal of shaken, created things, so that what is unshaken may remain.


Therefore, we who are receiving the unshakable kingdom should have gratitude, with which we should offer worship pleasing to God in reverence and awe.


For our God is a consuming fire. "

An unshakable faith belongs to us.  An unshakable Kingdom.  We heard of the prophets in the reading just now and earlier.  Faith with the Apostles, the Angels, the Saints, and all those who have gone before us.  What is peculiar is our belief.  Jesus was among the apostles as they gathered without Him physically present.  Yet, He came a week later to almost say "I heard your doubts, now throw away your disbelief", and the message to us from Him was "blessed are you if you believe without seeing".  Sometimes we feel like the father with a dying child in Mark 9:24 "Then the boy's father cried out, "I do believe, help my unbelief!".  But what had Jesus said for the father to yell that out in desperation?  "Jesus said to him, "'If you can!' Everything is possible to one who has faith."   WHOA!  Everything is possible?  Amazing.  Who else tells you this?  Not the world.  Sure they say "you can do anything" but they are speaking in limited earthly terms.  What God does is amazing.  Taste and see for yourself.  This amazement is what propels faith.  So many times the Bible says Jesus amazes.  If you want to see a video clip just visit my homepage at and click on amazed to see the various scriptural references of when people were amazed (video uses flashplayer common on computers).  So we are in union with angels, spirits from Heaven, those departed through Jesus Christ the capstone.  Do you believe?  Then you got a hookup with saints and angels, we can pray together for one another.  I would not want to live with the protestant thought that once your dead you can not pray for the dead, the souls that are still alive.  I love to pray for those who have stepped into the next realm.  This is a reality. Do you believe?  Or will you have to wait and see for yourself?  So it is fitting to read about things like purgatory coupled with "doubting" Thomas.  And you know what else is good?  People with all sorts of questions about the faith.  The inquiries are steps in faith.  So ask away, and if you can't find answers, then ask the Master who we follow in the discipline.  Jesus.  What will He do?  The Holy Spirit will descend upon those who ask.  This is the beauty of gathering with Him.  He is there.  I firmly believe He is among us.  Is He in the janitor down the hall?  Is He in the mechanic?  Is He in the teacher?  Is He in the Priest?  Is He in the mother at home?  Is He in that person that just won't go away?  LOL.  It is amazing isn't it?  The words some people say at the consecration (the bread and wine turned to body and blood of Christ) are the words of Thomas "My Lord, And My God!".  The doubter now an essential part of the foundation of the Kingdom of and me.