Testimonies of Truth
Jesus, after conquering death and triumphantly resurrecting, comes into the midst of his disciples who were huddled together in a room for fear of the Jews, and wishes them peace, showing them his wounded hands and pierced side proving to them that he is none other than their crucified Master. The disciples rejoice when they see the Lord. He then offers them the Holy Spirit and entrusts them with a mission, saying If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained (Jn 20:19-23). But Thomas, who was also called Didymus, was not present on this occasion. When the disciples told him that they had seen the resurrected Lord and what he had told them, Thomas refused to believe their words saying Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe (Jn 20:25).
A week later when Thomas was with the other disciples, Jesus came and stood among them wishing them peace. Then he said to Thomas, Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe (Jn 20:27). Then Thomas proclaimed the Lord whom he had known and experienced by saying, My Lord and my God! (20:28). It was Thomas who had the privilege of personally experiencing Jesus and believe in him, as he refused to believe the verbal account of the testimony of their Christ-experience. What Thomas had heard a week ago was experienced by him now.
There are testimonies galore that we read in the Bible or hear about in the numerous Retreat Centres and the Prayer Fellowships. These testimonies include happenings that can�t be explained by the logic of scientific and technological knowhow, healings of the sick abandoned by medical science and top class physicians and surgeons and things that are beyond the grasp of sensory perceptions. It does not matter if there are diehard sceptics who stubbornly refuse to believe such happenings in spite of the sincerity and genuineness of those who give such testimonies. You pray to the Lord submitting your problems and failures before Him and wait for the opportune time for his intervention. You will have greater experiences than those you have heard or read. Then you give your testimony which will prove beneficial to others like you who are in trouble, tribulation, torment, turbulence and turmoil. Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lamp-stand? (Mk 4:21).
When the Samaritan woman experienced Jesus closely, she went to the town with the light she received and became a witness to him. Those who believed in her testimony flocked to Jesus, saw him, heard him and experienced him. They then said to the woman, It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Saviour of the world (Jn 4:42). Testimonies are beacons that lead many to Jesus Christ. Those who ignore or disbelieve the testimonies will not have the blessing of having the Christ-experience.
Lord Jesus, the Saviour of the world, was and is alive even today. In the Bible we read miracles of various sorts: people are liberated from demoniac afflictions, the lepers made whole, paralytics walking, blind seeing, deaf hearing and dumb speaking. All these were done by Jesus some 2000 years ago. If you believe in Jesus and pray with earnest faith, greater miracles can happen in your life, too, even today. The testimonies are incontrovertible proofs to show that Jesus is very much alive even today.
St. Thomas came to India with the testimony of truth, after having accompanied Jesus during all his public life, and witnessing the veracity of the words, deeds and miracles of Jesus. If we believe that the testimony of the Apostle is true and pray earnestly, we too will be able to touch Jesus and seek shelter in his side.
Best Wishes for the Feast
of St. Thomas, the Apostle of India!