The Incredulity of Saint Thomas
1601-02, Oil on canvas, 107 x 146 cm
Doubting Thomas. The Gospel account of Jesus' appearance to His grieving apostles after His resurrection in John 20, tells of Thomas, who was away, being doubtful of the preposterous story that the Lord was alive. He had been with the Lord during his Passion and Crucifixion. He knew about the stone that sealed the tomb. How could his Lord be risen from the dead? I will not believe it, he told his friends, unless I put my hands in Jesus' wounds.
Every Christian can relate to this doubt -- we too are "doubting Thomases". And we, with Thomas, feel ashamed of ourselves. We follow Thomas's example in proclaiming, in awed recognition of Our Savior's living, real presence, "My Lord and my God!"
According to tradition, when the apostles dispersed to different parts of the world, Thomas was a missionary to India and the Near East.
Grant, almighty God,
that we may glory in the Feast of the blessed Apostle Thomas,
so that we may always be sustained by his intercession
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.
First Reading: Ephesians 2:19-22
So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Gospel Reading: John 20:24-29
Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe". Eight days later, His disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, "Peace be with you." Then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing". Thomas answered Him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."
Chaldean Coconut Cookies - Akras Jouz Al-Hind
These triangular coconut cookies are served at First Communion parties among Christians in such countries as Iraq. According to their tradition, Saint Thomas the Apostle on his way to India brought the Gospel to the Chaldeans of Babylon and Assyria. This recipe is adapted from Babylonian Cuisine: Chaldean Cookbook from the Middle East by Julia Najor.
-- from A Continual Feast by Evelyn Birge Vitz, originally published by Harper & Row in 1995, now available in paperback from Ignatius Press.
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup water
4 cups flaked coconut
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
In a small heavy saucepan mix the sugar and water. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Let the mixture come to a boil and skim off the foam. Let cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture registers 240° F on a candy thermometer. Let cool.
In a bowl beat the eggs lightly, and add the remaining ingredients. Stir in the sugar syrup. Knead the dough gently in the bowl with the palm of the hand and the fingers for about 5 to 7 minutes.
Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 300° F.
Take balls of dough a little larger than a walnut. Using a spoon or your fingers, form each ball into a flattish triangle about 1/4 inch thick.
Place the cookies on greased baking sheets. Bake them for 35 to 40 minutes, or until they are very light brown.
Yield: about 2 dozen cookies.
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