One of the little routine habits I’ve been faithful to since becoming a priest is to quietly repeat the words of St. Thomas the Apostle, “My Lord and My God” when I kneel during the consecration of the Blessed Sacrament at Holy Mass. In the rubric of the Mass, we genuflect as a sign of reverence for what is taking place through Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, but I have added this nearly silently as an added sign of my own reverent awareness of the weakness of my faith, while offering for us all the greatest act and sign of faith our Lord Jesus has given us – His coming into the midst of us in His very Person, but in a manner that we will all receive Him, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity and hence forth as Christian brothers and sisters go out into the world and proclaim Him Lord for all to know.
Jesus praises those who do not need to touch His wounds, or see Him and yet believe. He accommodates Thomas who comes to believe. As a convert and as a man who often defaults to skepticism, often doubts and needs to have things proven to him (certainly a degree of stubbornness), I can identify with St. Thomas and hence, “My Lord and My God”, a sign of my own struggle and the satisfaction of a growing and strengthening faith – my weakness yet indefatigable desire to have the faith of the Apostles and saints of the Church.
Jesus praises those who have no need of the “proof”, but He offers Himself to Thomas, I believe, as a sign to us all to “keep fighting the good fight” of belief. Keep seeking Him, abiding in Him and He will bring us to His wounds and give us everything faith provides. This is why we hope. Hope is the virtue of giving ourselves to the Lord day after day and simply placing our trust in God’s promise and hope is rewarded. I meet people all the time who have a strong and solid faith and their ability to trust in God totally and completely is a great witness for me. I admit I seek that kind of faith, and pray for it. As much as I wish I didn’t have to admit it, I have many moments when I rely more on what I can do, than what the Lord can do. I have many occasions for which I must trust more and question less. I do have faith, but my faith is tested in little ways again and again and I try to be attentive to these moments, and turn to Our Lord and to St. Thomas (asking his prayers for me) to help me “in my unbelief”.
St. Thomas is forever to be known as the great skeptic of the Apostles, but he is an Apostle all the same and he met the moment the Lord had prepared for him to give his greatest witness (his martyr’s death) with full faith and trust in His Lord and God. I really think that it’s less important how we get to where the Lord desires us to be – but that we get there! Of course our daily actions of faith, trust and hope are very important and on this pilgrimage of life, we need to seek to constantly move forward and not backwards, but let us consider for today that we are quite alright, and let us ask for St. Thomas’ prayers for a greater faith and place our trust, the faith and trust we can muster now in Our God who loves us with the greatest love. May God bless you!