The Unique Contribution of St. Thomas the Apostle

Rev. Fr. Joychen Paranjattu

What is the contribution of St. Thomas? He is a true disciple who clears many doubts not only for himself but for the future believers.

He gives us some very important revelation with regard to our faith. Or we can say that he was instrumental in getting us this Revelation.

When Jesus reveals to his disciples that he is returning to his father to prepare a place for them and that they know the way to the place where Jesus was going, Thomas said: “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”

Jesus, as a result, reveals an important truth of the revelation that He is the way, the truth and the life. Thomas was thus instrumental in getting us the revelation that Jesus is the only way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through him.

Until Thomas had expressed his ignorance, none of the disciples knew that Jesus is the only way to the Father, that he is the Truth and that he is the Life. That hereafter, we have to live our lives looking up towards heaven, that one day we too will be called to share a place in heaven which Jesus has prepared for us. This is true good news to us who are born mortals. We will die to live in eternity.

Another occasion of clearing doubt or better say, his insistence for conviction, is found in John 20. After the Resurrection, when Jesus had appeared to the disciples, Thomas was not there. He insisted that He should see his crucified Master alive with the marks of nail and wounds he suffered before his death. This was natural response of every human being in order to believe that someone who had died is now alive. This attitude of Thomas leads us to another important Revelation which we find in his proclamation: My Lord and my God. As he sees his master alive, he was convinced that this person of Jesus of Nazareth whom he had followed for three years, was no ordinary human being, but rather, he is the Lord of the Universe, he is God Himself.

One of the most important of the Revelations was thus given to us through this insistence of St. Thomas. Church’s faith is centered on the belief that Jesus is Lord and God. He is the son of God. He is the Saviour, so on. Everything begins with the deep desire of Thomas to see his Master with his own eyes, not just to hear about the Resurrection from his companions. Yes. His insistence provides us a great proof that Thomas and the disciples have really witnessed an extraordinary event in their lives. Now they are ready to die for it. Because, they are the living witnesses to the Resurrection.

On the way to Bethany after the death of Lazarus, Thomas would say to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him”. Literally, the apostles willingly suffered and die for their Master.

Jesus would tell the disciplesthat He would not remain with them forever, but only for 40 days. Now the future believers will be blessed if they do not see and yet come to believe. As the disciples encountered the Risen Lord, they believed, and they proclaimed. Hearing their preaching, we have come to believe today without seeing the Risen Lord. We can encounter Him in the Holy Eucharist. Now we too are blessed, and called to proclaim this Risen Lord to the whole world. The mandate is given to each and every believer to take this message of salvation to the whole world. That Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We have to live our lives here on earth, looking up towards heaven. Nothing else matters. He will surely take us all to the heavenly dwelling. He has gone ahead of us showing us the Way. Let’s have the courage and conviction of St. Thomas to proclaim that Jesus is my Lord and my God.