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Saturday, July 3, 2004

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St. Thomas

Ephesians 2:19-22
Psalm 117
John 20:24-29

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an independent counsel

Jesus said "to Thomas: 'Take your finger and examine My hands. Put your hand into My side. Do not persist in your unbelief, but believe!' " —John 20:27

Thomas, whose name means "twin," showed signs of a pronounced independence. It stands to reason that a twin might be especially insistent on differentiating himself from his twin as he matures. When Thomas told the other apostles that he did not believe the apostles' claim that Jesus had risen (Jn 20:25), Thomas wrongfully chose to be independent of the apostles, Mary Magdalene, and others who had met the risen Christ. When Thomas mouthed off about putting his fingers and hands into Jesus' wounds (Jn 20:25), Thomas was displaying an independence which was extreme to the point of possibly being sinful. Thomas was saying that he would have to see, finger, and inspect Jesus' risen body himself before he would believe in Jesus' resurrection.

It is no coincidence that in the USA the celebration of the feast of St. Thomas always is on the day preceding the birthday of our country, "Independence Day." When our citizens are independent from sin and totally dependent on God, we are truly "one nation under God." When we decide to be independent from God, our independence becomes sinful, leading to destruction and damnation. May the USA repent as Thomas did and proclaim Jesus as Lord and God (Jn 20:28). Otherwise, we will perish in our independence.

Prayer:  Father, help me unlearn what the world has mistaught me about independence. Send the Holy Spirit to teach me that true independence is grounded in total dependence on You.

Promise:  "This means that you are strangers and aliens no longer. No, you are fellow citizens of the saints and members of the household of God." —Eph 2:19

Praise:  Even though St. Thomas was, for a time, double-minded in his faith, he received the Spirit to such an extent he was able to lay down his life as a martyr for his Lord.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, December 13, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 2003