Catholic homily for the Feast of Saint Thomas, Apostle
Theme: Every shadow casts a brighter light.
By: Rev. Fr. Anthony O. EZEAPUTA, MA.
Homily for Saturday July 3 2021
When you introduce yourself as a Catholic, particularly as a Catholic seminarian or priest, you will almost certainly be asked a doctrinal or moral question at some point in the conversation. You’ll probably be asked to defend/explain why the Catholic Church does not allow divorce, or why it disapproves of the ordination of women to the priesthood. I’ve heard a nun claim that, following her theology studies, she was asked, “So, would you be ordained as a deacon and a priest?” There are so many doctrinal and moral doubts that so many Catholics have that need to be answered. And it is so important for us to have the answers to these questions in order to help dispel many of the assumptions and misinformation about our beloved Catholic faith.
A few years ago, when I was a seminarian in Oregon, I had an eye-opening experience at a soup kitchen where I was serving. I was conversing with a woman who had come in to eat and she asked me, “Why is it that your pope and bishops tell you Catholics what to do and what not to do?” She used to be a Catholic but had become a nondenominational Christian. I don’t know exactly why she asked that question, but I took advantage of the opportunity to clarify that: “in matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful, for their part, are obliged to accept their bishops’ teaching with a ready and respectful allegiance of mind” (The Church (1964), §25). She seemed to be satisfied with the explanation, and I don’t believe I did a bad job, either.
Today is the feast day of Saint Thomas, one of Jesus’ twelve apostles. He is best known as “Doubting Thomas” for his disbelief concerning Christ’s Resurrection. His doubt is significant to us for at least three reasons: first, it provides consolation for our insecurity in that we are not the only ones to wrestle with a previously unknown situation; second, it demonstrates that every doubt can lead to a brighter outcome than any uncertainty; and third, and most importantly, he inspires us to persevere in our faith despite the difficulties and doubts.
Let us pray for all the baptized Catholics who have doubts and questions about the Catholic faith, especially for those who have completely lapsed from the Catholic faith. Also, let us pray for our brothers and sisters within the Church who have either not been properly catechized, have become lukewarm about the faith, or only claim a Catholic identity. May Saint Thomas pray for us.
Homily for the Feast of Saint Thomas, Apostle
July 3, 2021