Today is the feast of St Thomas, Apostle
Saint Thomas was one of the twelve apostles. When the risen Jesus appeared to the other apostles Thomas was not with them and refused to believe them. When some days later Jesus appeared again to them and this time Thomas was with them he made that wonderful profession of faith ‘my Lord and my God’!
As a young man I grew up in a family where my parents and their ancestors before them valued their Catholic Christian faith. We prayed as a family, we lived by gospel values and went to mass together. We were very lucky that my father had studied theology and was well informed. He was able to answer our questions as we grew up.
A time came as I was becoming a young adult when I began to question my faith. Is this real? Does God really exist? Is Jesus really the son of God? Is the Catholic Church the right church to belong to? There were many other questions.
I came to a cross road of faith. I was not going to throw it away without looking at my beliefs properly. I could see the benefit that the Christian faith brought to so many people.
However I could not stay unless it was real!
I questioned, I read, spoke with people. I spoke with a priest in my parish. When I expressed my concerns about the questions I had he did not seem fazed at all. He smiled and said ‘you are growing up’. He never attempted to push his beliefs on me but rather guided me and answered my questions. He was a good ‘sound board’. I read, spoke with others, and did much reflection.
Eventually I began to be convinced that it made more sense that God is then is not.
I began to believe that Jesus did really die and rise. I became convinced that the Catholic Church had the best credentials to being the church that had the fullest claims to being linked with the Church, of the apostles, of Jesus.
So I reaffirmed my faith as a young adult Catholic.
It does not mean that I have not questioned aspects of my faith since.
We do not have a blind faith. God gave us brains to use them. Thinking people need an informed faith. We are continually learning.
However we also need to have a healthy dose of humility. There are big mysteries in our faith that we can never exhaust.
We know and yet we do not fully know in this life.
We are not on our journey alone.
I have always found it really helpful to have people in the Church community to talk to. Even though we have unique journeys we can still learn from our experiences and that of others in our two thousand year old family.
It is also great to give thanks for our brothers and sister from India today is a special day.
They have enriched our church and culture in Australia in so many ways.
St Thomas is patron saint of India!
He is reputed to have preached the Gospel to India and to have been martyred there.
Happy feast day to all our Indian brothers and sisters!!