Thomas Sunday 2017 Homily

“My Lord and my God!’ —Today is Thomas Sunday because we commemorate Thomas’ shift, from a lack of faith to complete faith. Nowhere else in the resurrection narratives does a disciple specifically say that Jesus is God, they call Jesus Lord, which does not always have the Divine connotation. But here, we see Thomas not just recognizing Jesus as his Lord, but he recognizes Jesus as both master and divine person, the Son of the Living God.
But Thomas is like many of us, we need to see to believe, we need to experience, we need to touch and feel with our own hands, in order for us to know that something is true. But when Thomas was confronted with the resurrected Jesus, he had no need to place his hand into Jesus’ side, for in only seeing Christ and His wounds, Thomas not only believed that Jesus rose, but he declared Him to be the true God.
After the crucifixion, it was easy for the Disciples to doubt if Jesus would rise as He said. Yes, they believed in Him and they said they would die with Him. But when it all actually happened, they became scared for their lives, and rightly so because they could have easily been convicted as well. But Jesus forgave His disciples for their unbelief, and instead of punishment, He charged them that forgiveness of sins, or retention of sins was now within their power. At this moment, Jesus gave mere men, a power formerly reserved for God alone, and He instructed them to use that power.
Jesus forgave Thomas of his disbelief, but said that those who believe without seeing are also blessed. They are blessed because they have not had the luxury of incontrovertible evidence. They are blessed, because they have believed the Word that was preached to them. They are blessed, because they have faith in what has only been seen by relatively few. Those who believe without seeing are blessed, because they have taken upon themselves the more difficult task, they have taken the greater leap, they have cast aside their flesh and the limited reason that our minds can comfortably understand. We indeed are blessed, if we believe in the Risen Jesus Christ.
But we know, we have read, we have experienced in prayer, and Thomas himself attests, that Jesus is our Lord and God, and He has the power to forgive sins because He has been given that power by God, His Father, and our Father. Jesus then hands on this power of Peace, to His physical representatives on earth, that they may continue the work done by Him in every age of the world. This passage could not be more clear, that Jesus sent His disciples into the world to forgive sins of those who are repentant, and that by this forgiveness, those who repent will gain the Peace of Christ.
Before Jesus ascends into Heaven, He also commissions His disciples to Baptize all nations in the Trinitarian Name. And today, one more soul is blessed by believing without seeing. For by the spoken words and faith of the God-parents, Joseph Archer Baron has been blessed by God for the faith he will grow into, being taught by both his parents and God-parents. For when the renunciation of Satan, and the unification to Christ has been established, they mimic the words of Thomas by saying they believe in Jesus as King and God, and that they worship the Trinity one in essence and undivided.
I pray that all who are responsible for the education and well-being of others, teach them all the truths of God’s commandments revealed to us through His servants through the ages, through His Divine Son, and through His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Amen.

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