Appleton, WI

July 3: Day by Day with Father Bill


Given that the Apostle Thomas gets a bad rap as he is often referred to as the Doubting Thomas, I would remind you that the opposite of faith is not doubt but rather fear. Often I remind our young people that having doubts is not a sin. Doubts open us up to deeper questions, which we bring before the Lord, and the Lord draws nearer to us.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in a general audience in September of 2006, reminded his audience of Thomas, who questioned Jesus at the Last Supper. Jesus promised that he was going to prepare a place for us in paradise, and we would eventually follow Him. Thomas objected, declaring that the Twelve did not know where Jesus was going, so how could they follow? We can thank Thomas for Jesus’ beautiful response, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”

Pope Benedict then said this: “Thomas’ question also confers upon us the right, so to speak, to ask Jesus for explanations. We often do not understand Him. Let us be brave enough to say, I do not understand You, Lord; listen to me, help me to understand. In such a way, with this frankness which is the true way of praying, of speaking to Jesus, we express our meager capacity to understand and at the same time place ourselves in the trusting attitude of someone who expects light and strength from the One able to provide them.”

After Jesus’ Ascension, tradition tells us that the Apostle Thomas was a missionary disciple, first to Syria and Persia, and then to India, where he died in 72 AD.

St Thomas, Apostle of the Lord, pray for us!

St Thomas, ask Jesus to bless all among our families and friends who are named Thomas on this Feast of their Names’ Day!

Father Bill+