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Like Thomas, learn to know Jesus by his wounds, Pope recommends

Catholic World News - July 03, 2013

Celebrating Mass on July 3, the feast of St. Thomas the apostle, Pope Francis said that like “doubting Thomas,” every Christian should come to know Jesus through his wounds.

When Jesus appeared to the apostles for the second time, with Thomas present, his appearance was beautiful, “but the wounds were and are still there,” the Pope said. “And when the Lord comes at the end of the world, we will see his wounds.”

The stubbornness off St. Thomas—who refused to take the word of the other apostles as proof of Christ’s resurrection—served a purpose, the Pope remarked. When Thomas was finally convinced, he did not merely acknowledge that Jesus had risen. The Pope explained:

No! He went further. He said: ‘God.’ He was the first of the disciples to confess the divinity of Christ after the resurrection.

St. Thomas offers the faithful a model for belief, based on a real knowledge of Jesus, the Pope said. He contrasted that direct knowledge with two flawed approaches.

First the Pope spoke of the attempt to know God through meditation. “That is dangerous!” the Pontiff said. “How many are lost on that path, never to return.” Meditation alone, he said, is not enough to furnish a personal acquaintance with Jesus.

Next Pope Francis cautioned about the struggle to reach God through rigorous self-denial. This, he said, is the path of “the Pelagians, who believe that they can arrive by their own efforts.”

The best path, the Pope concluded, is to come to know Jesus through his wounds, as St. Thomas did. He recommended service to the poor, the sick, and the needy. “These are the wounds of Jesus today,” he said.

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