The WORD in Other Words by Fr Allan Meechan SVD (Philippines)
Feast of St Thomas, the Apostle, Eph 2:19–22, Jn 20:24–29
A couple in my former parish had two intelligent daughters who got involved in political activism while studying in Manila. Having sacrificed a lot for the education of their children, the mother remonstrated with the two and in her agitation she apparently alienated them. She then stopped coming to Sunday Mass and became angry and bitter.
I felt sad that the mother was abandoning the Church at the time when she needed it most. But her relatives and many friends in the village and all of us provided the prayer and the community that she needed at the time. Like her, I was very apprehensive when our president publicly threatened to shoot all those who were going to attend a rally. Luckily, the problem was eventually resolved with little harm done.
I was reminded of these incidents when thinking over the highly positive view of our membership of the Church community in today‘s first reading and the vivid account in the Gospel of the two assemblies of the apostles after the resurrection. Joseph Krempa puts this succinctly: “His (Thomas‘) doubts were intensified by his isolation from the community, when he returned to the apostolic community he again found his faith.”
Often, when we have doubts about our faith, we tend to isolate ourselves instead of seeking to share them with another and resolve them.” A frequently heard complaint is: “Where is the Church when you need it?” However, perhaps we should often ask ourselves, “Where are you when you need the Church?”