“Happy are those who have not seen, and yet believe.” On Friday we celebrate the feast of St Thomas the Apostle. On Sunday we hear the Gospel from Mark 1:1-6 in which Jesus goes to his hometown and is reminded that “a prophet is only despised in his own country, among his own relations and in his own house.” So this week is all about faith: what is it?
Thomas is known as “the doubter”. Some might say that he is the forerunner of modern scientists in his use the empirical method. He had to see, he had to touch, in order to be sure. But as Fr Raphael Moss OP writes in that day’s meditation: “Our faith is given to us to pierce the darkness of the supernatural world and manifest what otherwise would be hidden from us. It is the evidence of things that appear not (He 11:1), a mighty power which only God can give, enabling the soul to hear the voice of God above the tumult of world, and to accept with humble submission all that he has revealed.”
The following day we have a meditation from Adrienne Von Speyr on Jesus’s teaching about not putting new wine into old wineskins. “The new wine is the entirety of the teaching, the entirety of the Christian life for which we have opted, the entirety of the vows, the absolutely unconditional and incomprehensible nature of an assent. All we know about this assent is that it should be uttered in a spirit of service, so that the wine may find enough room in us and expand to the power of its newness.”
This is what the thick-skinned people who thought they knew who Our Lord was, and thought they could ‘see through him’, have failed to do. Their souls have become rigid, incapable of growth.
Leonie Caldecott is the editor of MAGNIFICAT UK and Ireland
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