July 3 2020
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 117: 1-2
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.”
II. Ways of Coming to Know God
31 Created in God’s image and called to know and love him, the person who seeks God discovers certain ways of coming to know him. These are also called proofs for the existence of God, not in the sense of proofs in the natural sciences, but rather in the sense of “converging and convincing arguments”, which allow us to attain certainty about the truth. These “ways” of approaching God from creation have a twofold point of departure: the physical world, and the human person.
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
FRIDAY, JULY 3RD Jn. 20:24-29 Feast of St. Thomas “Thomas was not with them when Jesus came.”
There are Three Parts to today’s Meditation.
Homily by Saint Gregory the Great, Pope…
Thomas, one of the twelve was not with them when Jesus came. He was the only disciple absent; on his return he heard what had happened but refused to believe it. The Lord came a second time. He offered His side for the unbelieving disciple to touch, held out His hand, and by showing the scars of His wounds, He healed the wound of the disciple’s disbelief.
Dearly beloved, what do you see in these events? Do you really believe that it was by chance that this chosen disciple was absent, then came and heard, heard and doubted, doubted and touched, touched and believed?
It was not by chance but in God’s providence. In a marvelous way God’s mercy arranged that the disbelieving disciple, in touching the wounds of his Master’s body, should heal our wounds of disbelief.
The disbelief of Thomas has done more for our faith than the faith of the other disciples. As he touches Christ and is won over to belief, every doubt is cast aside and our faith is strengthened! The disciple who doubted and then felt Christ’s wounds, now becomes a witness to the reality of the resurrection. Touching Christ, he cried out: My Lord and my God. Jesus said to him: Because you have seen me, Thomas, you have believed.
What follows is reason for great joy: Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed. This is a particular reference to ourselves for we hold in our hearts One we have not seen in the flesh. We are included in these words, but only if we follow up our faith with good works. The true believer practices what he believes. But of those who pay only lip service to faith, Paul has this to say: They profess to know God, but they deny him in their works. Therefore, James says: Faith without works is dead. End of Homily
We are all called to do good works according to our state in life. Married couples, single people, Priests and nuns – are all called to different good works. But there is one “good work” that is the unifying thread in all our good works.
At the Last Supper, Jesus gave us what we might call His Last Will and Testament…
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.” (Jn. 14: 9-17)
Paul is eloquent speaking of this: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Mercy is the full flowering of Love! Let us beg our Merciful Lord and Mary, our Mother of Mercy that we may live out the greatest attribute of God – His Merciful Love!!! May we earnestly pray St. Faustina’s prayer to be merciful and by God’s great mercy to us, receive the grace to live it fully!
Prayer to be Merciful… (from St. Faustina’s Diary #163)
Most Holy Trinity! As many times as I breathe, as many times as my heart beats, as many times as my blood pulsates through my body, so many thousand times do I want to glorify Your mercy.
I want to be completely transformed into Your mercy and to be Your living reflection, O Lord. May the greatest of all divine attributes, that of Your unfathomable mercy, pass through my heart and soul to my neighbor.
Help me, O Lord, that my eyes may be merciful, so that I may never suspect or judge from appearances, but look for what is beautiful in my neighbors’ souls and come to their rescue.
Help me, that my ears may be merciful, so that I may give heed to my neighbors’ needs and not be indifferent to their pains and moanings.
Help me, O Lord, that my tongue may be merciful, so that I should never speak negatively of my neighbor, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all.
Help me, O Lord, that my hands may be merciful and filled with good deeds, so that I may do only good to my neighbors and take upon myself the more difficult and toilsome tasks.
Help me, that my feet may be merciful, so that I may hurry to assist my neighbor overcoming my own fatigue and weariness. My true rest is in the service of my neighbor.
Help me, O Lord, that my heart may be merciful so that I myself may feel all the sufferings of my neighbor. I will refuse my heart to no one. I will be sincere even with those who, I know, will abuse my kindness. And I will lock myself up in the most merciful Heart of Jesus. I will bear my own suffering in silence. May Your mercy, O Lord, rest upon me.
You Yourself command me to exercise the three degrees of mercy. The first: the act of mercy, of whatever kind. The second: the word of mercy – if I cannot carry out a work of mercy, I will assist by my words. The third: prayer – if I cannot show mercy by deeds or words, I can always do so by prayer. My prayer reaches out even where I cannot reach out physically.
My Jesus, transform me into Yourself, for You can do all things.
Why do we need a third part of this meditation? Because Merciful Love is not easy to live out. What is the stumbling block? One word: PRIDE! The following Litany of Humility is a powerful antidote to Pride! When you have difficulties living out Faustina’s Prayer to Be Merciful – apply the Litany of Humility liberally in your prayer life – twice a day if possible!
Litany of Humility… by Ven. Cardinal Merry del Val
O Jesus! Meek and Humble of Heart, hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed by others, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being loved by others, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled by others, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being honored by others, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being praised by others, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted by others, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being approved by others, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated by others, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being despised by others, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes by others, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated by others, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten by others, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed by others, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged by others, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected by others, deliver me, O Jesus.
That others may be loved more than I, O Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, O Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That in the opinion of the world, others my increase and I may decrease, O Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, O Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, O Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, O Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, O Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.