Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle

The Evocation

“Do not doubt but believe.”

Opening Prayer

Grant, almighty God,

that we may glory in the Feast of the blessed Apostle Thomas,

and, believing, may have life

in the name of Jesus Christ your Son,

whom Thomas acknowledged as the Lord.

Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever. Amen. [1, adapted]

🕇 Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Alleluia!

The Hymn 

Adapted from William Bright

How often, Lord, your face has shone 

On doubting souls whose wills were true! 

You Christ of Peter and of John 

You are the Christ of Thomas too. 

He loved you well, and firmly said, 

“Come, let us go, and die with him”; 

Yet when your Easter news was spread, 

Mid all its light his faith was dim. 

His brethren’s word he would not take, 

But craved to touch those hands of thine; 

When you did your appearance make, 

He saw, and hailed his Lord Divine. 

He saw you risen; at once he rose 

To full belief’s unclouded height; 

And still through his confession flows 

To Christian souls your life and light. 

O Savior, make your presence known 

To all who doubt your Word and thee;

And teach us in that Word alone 

 find the truth that sets us free. [2]

Small Verse

You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.   

(Ephesians 2:19)
“St. Thomas” 
By Peter Paul Rubens 
(source)

Old Testament: Habakkuk 2:1-4

The Righteous Shall Live by His Faith

1 I will stand at my watch-post,

   and station myself on the rampart;

I will keep watch to see what he will say to me,

   and what he will answer concerning my complaint.

2 Then the Lord answered me and said:

Write the vision;

   make it plain on tablets,

   so that a runner may read it.

3 For there is still a vision for the appointed time;

   it speaks of the end, and does not lie.

If it seems to tarry, wait for it;

   it will surely come, it will not delay.

4 Look at the proud!

   Their spirit is not right in them,

   but the righteous live by their faith.

Refrain

Bring your hand and feel the place of the nails, and do not be unbelieving but believing. [3]

Let us pray.

Everliving God, who strengthened your apostle Thomas with firm and certain faith in your Son’s resurrection: Grant me so perfectly and without doubt to believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, that my faith may never be found wanting in your sight; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.† [4]


Small Verse

We give thanks to the Father, who has made us worthy to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.   

(Colossians 1:12)
Postal Department of India brought out a stamp commemorating St. Thomas’ mission to the country 
(source)

Psalter: Psalm 126

Restore Our Fortunes, O Lord

A Song of Ascents.

1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, *

      then were we like those who dream.

2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, *

     and our tongue with shouts of joy.

3 Then they said among the nations, *

     “The Lord has done great things for them.”

4 The Lord has done great things for us, *

     and we are glad indeed.

5 Restore our fortunes, O Lord, *

     like the watercourses of the Negev.

6 Those who sowed with tears *

     will reap with songs of joy.

7 Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, *

     will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves.

Refrain

Bring your hand and feel the place of the nails, and do not be unbelieving but believing. [3]

Let us pray.

Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made us one with your saints in heaven and on earth: Grant that in my earthly pilgrimage I may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know myself to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. I ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, in whom all my intercessions are acceptable through the Spirit, and who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.† [5]


Small Verse

Their sound has gone out into all lands, and their message to the ends of the world.   

(Psalm 19:4)
St. Thomas icon, From the altar of the Church of St John the Baptist, Chesmenskaya, Russia – from the Gospel of John 20:24-29 – Jesus says to Thomas ““Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
(source)

New Testament: Hebrews 10:35-11:1

The Full Assurance of Faith

35Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. 36For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. 

37For yet

‘in a very little while,

   the one who is coming will come and will not delay;

38 but my righteous one will live by faith.

   My soul takes no pleasure in anyone who shrinks back.’

39But we are not among those who shrink back and so are lost, but among those who have faith and so are saved.

1Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Refrain

Bring your hand and feel the place of the nails, and do not be unbelieving but believing. [3]

Let us pray.

Almighty and everlasting God, who willed that our Savior should take upon Him our flesh and suffer death upon the Cross, that all mankind should follow the example of His great humility, mercifully grant that we may both follow the example of His patience and also be made partakers of His resurrection. Through the same Jesus Christ. Amen.

(adapted from THE SHORT BREVIARY [6])


December 21st Great Antiphon

“The Incredulity of Saint Thomas”
By Caravaggio (1601–1602) 
(source)

Gospel: John 20:24-29

Jesus and Thomas

24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’

26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ 27 Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ 28Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ 29Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’

Refrain

Bring your hand and feel the place of the nails, and do not be unbelieving but believing. [3]

Let us pray.

SOLEMN BLESSING OF THE APOSTLES

May God, who has granted you

to stand firm on apostolic foundations,

graciously bless you through the glorious merits

of the holy Apostle Thomas.

        Amen.

And may he who endowed you

with the teaching and example of the Apostles,

make you, under Christ’s protection,

witnesses to the truth before all.

        Amen.

So that through the inspiration of the Apostles,

you may inherit the eternal homeland,

for by their teaching you possess firmness of faith.

        Amen.

And may the blessing of almighty God,

the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit,

come down on you and remain with you for ever.

        Amen. [8, adapted]


Small Verse

You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord; blessed are those who have not seen, but still believe! 

(based on John 20:29)
“Apostle Thomas” 
By Nicolaes Maes (1656) 
(source)

On the life of St. Thomas the Apostle

“After rising from the dead in the predawn hours of Easter Sunday and appearing to multiple eyewitnesses, Easter evening comes and the Apostles (and perhaps other disciples) are holed up behind locked doors in the Upper Room, afraid of the Jews. Suddenly, Christ mysteriously enters despite the “locked” door. He first gives them His peace, reconciling with all those who abandoned Him on the Cross. Christ shows His wounded hands and side, confirming that His crucified body has been resurrected but glorified with mysterious new powers. Again giving the Apostles His peace, Christ “sends” them to spread the Gospel, as the Father sent the Son. Anticipating the great rush of the wind of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), Christ breathes on the Apostles, ordaining them with the Holy Spirit and giving them the exclusive power to forgive or not to forgive sins.” [9]

“The Apostle Thomas, for an unknown reason, is absent when Christ appears on Easter Sunday and refuses to believe that Christ has risen unless he personally sees and touches Christ’s wounds. Eight days later on the Second Sunday of Easter, Christ returns, again mysteriously entering despite the locked door. After giving the disciples peace, Christ, with supernatural knowledge of Thomas’ doubt, offers Thomas the chance to touch His wounds. Thomas, now believes and exalts Christ, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Christ rebukes Thomas, promising ‘Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.’” [10]

“Absolutely convinced by Christ, St. Thomas lived the rest of his life as a witness to Christ. Tradition holds that St. Thomas traveled to India and and proclaimed Christ, served the poor and established the ‘Christians of St. Thomas’. St. Thomas was martyred by spearing on a hill now called St. Thomas Mount, where he is still venerated.” [11]


“Today is the feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle and both of the readings today seem to reflect the community of Christ’s disciples that Thomas lived in at the time, but also the Catholic community that we are a part of as well.” [12]

Let us look at Ephesians 2:19-21:

“Brothers and sisters: You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

“What beautiful and holy words these are!  These words are filled with the Holy Spirit and with love.  If ever you wanted to feel a sense of belonging, of having a place where you are loved, accepted and welcomed then this is it.  Truly our church is alive in the Spirit today, just as it was over 2,000 years ago.” [13]

“The prophets foretold of Christ and the Apostles proclaimed him, but Jesus Christ is alive today and he continues to live within each one of us. We form the body of Christ, a sacred temple for the Lord.  May we work toward keeping ourselves free of sin to be a beautiful dwelling place for God and for the Holy Spirit to make his home with us.  We are a sacred people that Jesus formed for himself, even with all of our imperfections.” [14]

“Saint Thomas had his faults but Christ seems to understand this.  He didn’t forget about Thomas just because Thomas wasn’t with the other disciples when he appeared to them earlier behind locked doors or because Thomas doubted him either.  On the contrary, Christ purposely sought him out and then greeted him with words of peace.  Jesus didn’t let him off the hook that easy and he will not allow us to withdraw from him so easily either.  The Lord continues to this day, to seek out his own that have wandered away from him.” [15]

“Can you imagine what Thomas’ reaction was when he saw the Lord?  No doubt he was absolutely astounded at the sheer reality of Jesus standing before him.  And you can’t help but wonder about the Lord himself.  Was he smiling or even laughing?  Surely Jesus wasn’t serious and somber all the time.  The look on Thomas’ face would have been priceless! He probably thought he was seeing a ghost until he touched Christ’s hands and side.  It might be the same with us one day too, when we finally get to meet Jesus in heaven.  Will we be shy then? Jesus understands the beauty of our own faith and love for him and that it has been harder because we never knew him in the flesh like Saint Thomas did.  Jesus said, ‘Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.’  He spoke of us long before we came into being.” [16]

The hymn, “Without Seeing You”, “describes our love for Jesus, that we have not seen and yet believe in… When you sing, you pray twice!  You know it is going to be an awesome day, when you begin it with a song in your heart.” [17]

Without seeing you, we love you;

Without touching you, we embrace;

Without knowing you, we follow,

Without seeing you, we believe.

We return to you deep within, leave the past to the dust; turn to you with tears and fasting; you are ready to forgive.

The sparrow will find a home, near to you O God; how happy, we who dwell with you, forever in your house.

Forever we sing to you of your goodness, O God; proclaiming to all the world of your faithfulness and love.

For you are our shepherd, there is nothing that we need; in green pastures we will find our rest, near the waters of peace. [18]

“Martyrdom of St. Thomas” by Peter Paul Rubens, 1636-1638
(source)

Refrain

Bring your hand and feel the place of the nails, and do not be unbelieving but believing. [3]

Vespers Prayers

Almighty God, you have surrounded me with a great cloud of witnesses: Grant that I, encouraged by the good example of your servant Thomas, may persevere in running the race that is set before me, until at last I may with him attain to your eternal joy; through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.†  [19]

Grant me and all of your people the gift of your Spirit, that we may know Christ and make him known; and through him, at all times and in all places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.† [20]

We render you, O Lord, the service that is your due,

humbly imploring you to keep safe your gifts in us,

as we honor the confession of the Apostle Saint Thomas

and offer you a sacrifice of praise.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen. [21]

The Small Verse

For God alone my soul in silence waits;* 

     from him comes my salvation. 

(Psalm 62:1)

The Concluding Prayers of the Church

Before the ending of the day, 

Creator of the world, we pray 

That with thy wonted favor thou 

Wouldst be our guard and keeper now. 

From all ill dreams defend our eyes, 

From nightly fears and fantasies; 

Tread under foot our ghostly foe, 

That no pollution we may know. 

O Father, that we ask be done, 

Through Jesus Christ, thine only Son; 

Who, with the Holy Ghost and thee, 

Doth live and reign eternally. 

Amen. [22]


Devotionals compiled and written by S.P. Rogers


Citations:

[1] Liturgies.net. (n.d.). Readings for the Feast of ST. THOMAS. Retrieved December 11, 2020, from http://www.liturgies.net/saints/thomas/mass.htm

[2] Tickle, P. (2006). Advent. In The divine hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 394). New York, NY: Image Books.

[3] Liturgies.net. (n.d.). Readings for the Feast of ST. THOMAS. Retrieved December 11, 2020, from http://www.liturgies.net/saints/thomas/mass.htm

[4] Tickle, P. (2006). Advent. In The divine hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 392). New York, NY: Image Books.

[5] Ibid. 4, P. 393

[6] Ibid. 4, P. 393

[7] Episcopal Church. (1911). Proper of Seasons. In Breviary offices from Lauds to Compline inclusive: Translated from the Sarum Book and Supplemented from Gallican and Monastic Uses (Ebook ed., Printed For The Society Of S. Margaret, Boston, U.S., pp.109). New York, NY: J. Pott &.

[8] Liturgies.net. (n.d.). Readings for the Feast of ST. THOMAS. Retrieved December 11, 2020, from http://www.liturgies.net/saints/thomas/mass.htm

[9] Catholic Men’s Daily. (2013). Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle – July 3 – John 20:24-29. Retrieved December 11, 2020, from https://www.newemangelization.com/meeting-jesus/catholic-mens-daily-devotional-and-bible-study-feast-of-st-thomas-the-apostle-july-3-john-2024-29/

[10] Ibid. 9

[11] Ibid. 9

[12] Kazlas, L. (2020, April 13). Feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle. Retrieved December 11, 2020, from https://www.acatholic.org/feast-of-saint-thomas-the-apostle/

[13] Ibid. 12

[14] Ibid. 12

[15] Ibid. 12

[16] Ibid. 12

[17] Ibid. 12

[18] Ibid. 12

[19] Tickle, P. (2006). Advent. In The divine hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 395). New York, NY: Image Books.

[20] Ibid. 19

[21] Liturgies.net. (n.d.). Readings for the Feast of ST. THOMAS. Retrieved December 11, 2020, from http://www.liturgies.net/saints/thomas/mass.htm


[22] Bellarmine, G. (2020). December 21 Compline. In The Roman Breviary in English, in Order, Every Day for October, November, December 2020 (Kindle ed., p. 2581). Christian Books Today.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: