Saint Thomas was called Didymus, which means 'the twin.' Someone asked me about this recently. Thomas did not have actually have a twin sibling. He was called 'the twin' because of his split personalities, if you will. He is a faithful apostle, yet he doubts.
When Jesus decides to see Lazarus, though it will mean traveling into the lion's den, Thomas says, "let us go that we may die with him" (John 11:16). When Jesus says at the Last Supper that he is going to the Father, Thomas asks what the way is, to which our Lord responds: "I am the way, the truth and the life" (John 14:15). When Jesus comes back to life, Thomas resists: "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe" (John 20:25).
I'm surprised Thomas doubted after the Resurrection. Jesus had predicted this would happen. Mary and some of the other disciples waited expectantly outside the tomb Easter Sunday morning. Peter and John set off in a run to the tomb when they receive simple word--they sense the resurrection has occurred. Even the Sanhedrin and Jewish leaders thought the resurrection was a possibility, which is why they station guards outside the tomb.
Why did Thomas doubt? We'll only know for certain when we're in heaven and can ask Didymus ourselves. In the meantime, we can come to answer by asking ourselves that same question. Why do we doubt? What holds us back from completely trusting in the Lord?
If you receive your answer, you're only half-way there. Finish the process by responding in love: My Lord and my God!
I want to thank everyone who was involved liturgically in our Triduum services: Glenn de Castro and the musicians; the sacristans and decorators and seminarians; the lectors, commentators and the eucharistic ministers; those who had their feet washed; the altar servers; the Boy Scouts; the greeters and ushers; and many others. God bless you!
Congratulations to our newest Catholics, those who entered the Church at the Easter Vigil last week. The following individuals received the Sacrament of Confirmation and First Holy Communion: Nataliya Broda (St. Brigid), James Cross (St. Peter), Carl Hagman (St. Ignatius), Gianna Mok (St. Antoinette), Laura Witt (St. Juliana), and Steven Zick (St. Francis of Assisi). Thank you, Father Emanuel, who did a fine job leading RCIA and preparing the candidates. See the picture of us above.
Also, congratulations to our First Communicants who received the Eucharist for the first time this Saturday, April 27th at 11am. Thank you to the teachers and catechists who prepared them, and the families for their support.
This Sunday, April 28th at 9:30am is the Confirmation Sponsor Mass. Our 7th graders will then be receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation this upcoming Thursday, May 2nd at 7pm. We welcome Bishop Bartosic, who will celebrate the sacrament.
This Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter, is also known as Divine Mercy Sunday. Pope John Paul II established this title for the Octave of Easter in the year 2000, when he canonized St. Faustina Kowalska, the Polish nun who received images of the Sacred Heart. We will be having a prayer service in the church today, April 28th, from 3pm to 4pm.
Please see inside the bulletin information about the Consecration to Mary. I hope you will consider doing this beautiful spiritual exercise, even if you have done this in years past.
Finally, I will be away this Monday through Thursday morning at Mundelein Seminary for another spiritual direction training class. You will be in my prayers as always.
Yours in Christ,