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Reflection by Margaret Ann Stimatz
Today's Gospel: John 20:24-29 - Feast of St. Thomas, Apostle
Last week when his brother apostles had gathered here, Thomas, for some unknown reason, had been a no-show. That stops me short. I too have been a no-show, more frequently than I like to admit. Driven by wounds and lies, I’ve avoided family events, convincing myself no one cared if I was present. In selfishness, I’ve missed important family celebrations because -- immersed in my own chaos or preoccupations -- I’ve been unwilling to sacrifice myself to honor someone else’s big day. Immobilized by fear, I’ve absented myself from family gatherings, imagining something bad would happen (excessive drinking, fighting, mourning). Wounds, lies, selfishness and fear: these have all turned me to the solution of avoidance, isolating me from those who love me, even from Jesus Himself. It is not a pretty picture.
But today’s gospel offers me great hope. Although Thomas’s reason for absence may not resemble my own, I am inspired that, one week later, he makes a new effort and a different choice. I’m also touched by his honesty and directness: Thomas admits his need, declaring he must see Jesus for himself. And Jesus heartens me even more. As He greets His friends, His eyes fall on Thomas. He approaches immediately, meeting Thomas’ eyes. Jesus understands. He knows where Thomas has been, what he needs, and it’s okay. It’s okay that Thomas needs to see for himself. “Take your finger...examine my hands...put your hand into my side.” Jesus invites him close, welcomes his touch. He longs to meet Thomas right where he is.
Even when I show up physically, how do I sometimes absent myself emotionally or mentally?
Jesus, when I am hurting or struggling, help me turn to You, rather than to my own worthless strategies. Help me believe You want to meet me right where I am.
Copyright 2020 Margaret Ann Stimatz
About the Author
Our Gospel Reflections Team is comprised of over 115 volunteers. We invite you to join us daily to reflect upon the Liturgy of the Word and thank our volunteers for sharing their gifts.