SUNDAY OF ST THOMAS – ТОМИНА НЕДЕЛА

GOSPEL READING: John 20:19-31

19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were [a]assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” 24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” 26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, [b]“Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

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ЕВАНГЕЛСКО ЧЕТИВО: Јован 20, 19-31

19. А вечерта во истиот ден, првиот ден од седмицата, кога вратата, каде што беа учениците Негови собрани, беше затворена поради страв од Јудејците, дојде Исус, застана насреде и им рече: „Мир вам!” 20. И ова како го рече, им ги покажа рацете и нозете и ребрата Свои. Се зарадуваа тогаш учениците, штом Го видоа Господа. 21. А Исус пак им рече: „Мир вам! Како што Ме прати Отецот, така и Јас ве праќам.” 22. И кога им го кажа ова, дувна и им рече: „Примете Дух Свети! 23. На кои ќе им ги простите гревовите, ќе им се простат, а на кои ќе им ги задржите, ќе им се задржат.” 24. А Тома, еден од дванаесетте, наречен Близнак, не беше со нив, кога дојде Исус. 25. Другите ученици му рекоа: „Го видовме Господа.” А тој им рече: „Дури не ги видам раните од клинците на рацете Негови, и не го ставам прстот свој во раните од клинците, и не ја ставам раката своја во ребрата Негови, нема да поверувам.” 26. А по осум дена учениците Негови пак беа собрани, и Тома со нив. Дојде Исус, кога вратата беше заклучена, застана помеѓу нив и рече: „Мир вам!” 27. Потоа му рече на Тома: „Дај го прстот свој овде и види ги рацете Мои; дај ја раката своја и стави ја во ребрата Мои; и не биди неверлив, но верлив!” 28. Одговори Тома и му рече: „Господ мој и Бог мој!” 29. Исус му рече: „Тома, ти поверува, оти Ме виде; блажени се оние, кои не виделе, а поверувале!” 30. И многу други чудеса изврши Исус пред учениците Свои, што не се запишани во оваа книга. 31. А овие се запишани, за да поверувате дека Исус е Христос, Син Божји, и верувајќи да имате живот во Неговото име.

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GOSPEL MESSAGE: The Scars Speak

The Gospel lesson today spoke to us of the scars of Jesus. When the other disciples told Thomas that they had seen the Lord, Thomas 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 when the disciples were in the room and Thomas with them, the doors being shut, our Lord stood in the midst of them and said, "Peace be to you." Then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it into my side; do not be faithless, but believing." Thomas answered Him, "My Lord and my God!" Thomas believed when he saw the scars of Jesus. For him the scars were the greatest proof that this was the real Jesus, the Jesus who had suffered and died, the Jesus Who had risen from the tomb.

Through the Gospel lesson today the Risen Christ appears also to us. He shows us the scars in His hands and side! What do the scars of Christ teach us? What do they tell us about Him?

First, the scars of Christ speak most eloquently of His love for us. St. Paul writes, "While we were yet helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one would hardly die for a righteous man — though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. But God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us." (Romans 5:6-8).

The scars of Jesus speak eloquently of His love for us. Such eloquence should evoke in every true Christian the response it evoked in Thomas and in the little girl, "My Lord and my God, I loved you before but more than ever now.

Secondly, the scars of Jesus teach us that life is a struggle. Whoever got the idea that a good Christian never suffers? "God had one son without sin," said St. Augustine. "He has no sons without suffering." He has never promised us immunity from suffering — His own Son suffered — but He has promised us victory in our suffering. "In the world you have tribulation but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world," He said. The worst thing that evil can do is to kill God. Having been defeated in that, in its strongest moment, when evil wore its greatest armor, it can never be victorious again.

Thirdly, the scars of Jesus speak eloquently of His love, but they also speak to our scars. The hardest part of suffering for Christians is the dark hour when they are tempted to believe that God is not with them in their suffering; when they suppose that Jesus reigns in some far-off splendor, untroubled by their woe. This is simply not true! The first thing Jesus does when He comes to sufferers is to show them His scarred hands. What a password! When you are pouring out your passionate protests to Jesus and asking Him why this should happen to you, look! He is showing you His hands.

Finally the scars on the body of Jesus were caused by man's sin. If we were to choose a symbol for sin, perhaps the best one would be a nail. Each sin is a nail that continues to be driven into the body of Jesus. The best definition of sin is that it is not only the breaking of God's commandments, but even more so the breaking of God's heart.

Having seen the scars, we cannot but say with Thomas, "My Lord and my God!" Amen.

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