Monday, December 21, 2009

Feast Of Thomas The Apostle

"The Incredulity of Saint Thomas" - Caravaggio, 1601-02 - Sanssouci, Potsdam


Psalm 126
Habakkuk 2:1-4
Hebrews 10:35--11:1
John 20:24-29

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’

John 20:24-29


Almighty and everliving God, who strengthened your apostle Thomas with sure and certain faith in your Son's resurrection: Grant us so perfectly and without doubt to believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, that our faith may never be found wanting in your sight; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Peter and Thomas are two of my favorite saints, because they were human and obviously imperfect, and yet we celebrate their lives even now. Their humanity and imperfection further my hope that one day I will join them in the heavenly kingdom with the rest of the saints.

The following poem came to me as I pondered the lives of the two saints.

God's Woman

Peter, Thomas, are you my kin?
I call you, "Brother". Are we alike?
You imperfect ones, a doubter, a denier,
Am I your sister?

"I tell you I do not know him!"
Three times your Lord denied.
Oh, Peter, when you heard the cock crow,
Your salty tears were bitter.

You, Thomas, to touch, to see was all.
"Me believe? When I see the nail marks,
When I put my finger in his side."
"My Lord and my God!"

You, my brothers, deeply, fully human,
You flaw-filled men of God,
You give me strength; you give me courage.
Perhaps I'll be God's woman, after all.

Grandmère Mimi 4/18/07

Image from Web Gallery of Art.


  1. Thank you, dear Mimi, for your poem. The imperfections of the Apostles remind us of the company we keep, where even the best can founder and fall, and give us all hope that we can continue the pilgrimage, forgiven.

  2. Lovely - and hope for all of us.

  3. Thanks for a great rmeinder that plaster saints are no use to anyone — it's the shared humanity makes them both holy and accessible enough to help us!

  4. Thank you all.

    Davis and Bishop Alan, welcome.

    Davis, I had a look at your blog. Oh my! The photo of the Michelangelo Madonna sculpture is gorgeous.

    Bishop Alan, I've admired your writing at your blog for a quite a while now, and I've left a comment there a time or two, or three.

    Mon cher ami, Paul, merci.

    I'm timid about posting my own poetic efforts. The muse visits only occasionally, and I can't tell whether the poems are worth anything at all, so I do appreciate the kind words.

    And the link from you, Tobias, makes me absolutely giddy.


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