Christ is Risen!
In the Byzantine Rite, the Sunday after Easter is known as “Thomas Sunday.” On this day we commemorate the belief of Saint Thomas the Apostle, who is often referred to as “Doubting Thomas.” Rather than focusing on doubt, however, the Church sees in Thomas’ unbelief an opportunity for great faith.
After the crucifixion and death of Jesus, Thomas was lost in despair and confusion, so much so that he didn’t gather with his fellow disciples for their evening meal when the Risen Lord first appeared to them. On the following day, they found Thomas and related to him the good news of the Resurrection. Despairing, Thomas said:
“Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my hand into His side, I will not believe it.”
“Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
When Saint Thomas touched the Life-giving side of the Lord, he no longer had any doubts. He fell to his knees in awe and professed:
“My Lord and my God!”
Thomas’ initial unbelief transformed into a greater manifestation of the reality of Christ’s Resurrection in the flesh. The Slavonic inscription on his icon reads “The Belief of Thomas,” emphasizing his confession of faith rather than his doubt. The writings of Saint John Chrysostom and Blessed Archbishop Theofylact of Bulgaria, among others, explain that the expression “My Lord and my God” indicates the dual nature of Christ.
It is believed that Saint Thomas preached the gospel in India, where he angered local religious authorities, who martyred him by running him through with a spear.