Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Our readings are those for the Feast of St. Thomas, celebrated on December 21. Yes, I know we're pretty far ahead of December 21, but there's a big pile of holidays at the end of December and beginning of January, so we'll be behind before you know it.
As we contemplate the life of St. Thomas, we read the opening few lines of Psalm 136. In this Psalm, the refrain speaks of God's steadfast love enduring forever.
This is evidenced in the life of Thomas, and, I hope, in our lives as well. Thomas is one of the Twelve who is spoken of relatively little in the Gospels. Noteworthy, though, is his bold statement when Jesus is preparing to go to visit the family of his friend Lazarus, who has died. The other disciples warn Jesus not to go there, because people were wanting to kill Jesus. Thomas, however, says they should go so they can die with Lazarus, and presumably, with Jesus.
God's steadfast love was with Thomas and the other disciples. He was there in the person of Jesus. They didn't die with Lazarus. Rather, Jesus, the life of the world, gave Lazarus his life. Thomas and the rest of the twelve lived through that experience as well.
After the resurrection, Thomas shows up again. Or maybe he doesn't. On the day of resurrection, when Jesus appears to the twelve eleven ten, Thomas isn't there. Neither is Judas, who has killed himself in despair. Rather than being suicidal, Thomas simply doesn't believe there's any future. His Lord has died. He's done.
God's steadfast love was with Thomas even when he was doubting and had not yet been gathered back to the others. A week later, Jesus made a special appearance to his apostles, including Thomas. His steadfast love endures forever.
Are we ready to die for Jesus? God's steadfast love is there with us. Are we full of doubt and despair? God's steadfast love is there also. His steadfast love endures forever.
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