St Thomas is one of my patron saints. He was my patron saint when I didn’t even believe in patron saints.
He is the person in the Bible I can most easily relate to. I always thought of him as kind of an ally and he was always my favourite Apostle. (Followed by St Andrew and then St John, ’cause I know you were dying to know.)
And if that isn’t enough, my favourite scene in the Bible, which just happens to be about him, is also the subject of my favourite painting by my favourite artist.
Can you tell I’m pretty fond of St Thomas?
So today, on the feast of St Thomas, I’m launching this blog.
I’m going public, asking all those stupid questions, writing all these silly ideas of my mine and praying that – somehow – Jesus will make something of my Thomas-ing.
Did you know “to Thomas” was a verb? In my world, to Thomas is to ask the questions and to demand the evidence. It is a reckless, maybe even feckless, faith that is far from perfect but absolutely committed to following the Truth, wherever it leads.
But like the nagging widow and the trusting child, Thomasing is a questioning faith that calls forth the answers. It is asking, expecting to receive.
It is Thomas’ stupid question when he asks Jesus,
“Lord, we don’t know where you going, so how can we know the way?” (John 14:5)
It is Thomas’ brave call to the rest of the disciples, when Jesus sets off for Jerusalem,
“Let us also go, that we may die with him.” (John 11:6)
It is Thomas’ stubborn doubts when the other disciples tell him Jesus has risen,
“Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25)
But just as Thomas’ first recorded question gave us the famous, super-quotable words of Jesus (“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”. Yes, you can thank St Thomas for those), it is all these doubts that calls forth the most beautiful testimony in all the Gospels to the Risen Jesus:
Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:26-28)
St Thomas the Apostle put his faith on the line. So it’s fitting that the Apostle who was so good at putting his foot in his mouth, followed his own words with his feet. He wanted to go to Jerusalem to die with Christ but ended up farthest from Jerusalem, dying for Christ in India, preaching that which he had received from the Truth Himself, that Jesus is truly Lord and truly God.
And I think he is a fitting patron for this blog: he questions, he follows, he doubts, he adores. And he ends up dead in India.
Ok, so maybe I didn’t think the last one through…
Either way, whether I end up dead in India or not, this blog is part of my Thomasing: my questioning, my following, my doubting and my adoring.
And God willing, it is all for my Lord and my God.