A young man joined the military service as a soldier.
One morning, he was ordered by the sergeant to report for duty at the canteen.
>> He, however refused.
The sergeant threatened to report him to the officer that day.
“All right,” said the young man, “go ahead. I did not enlist to be a bartender but a soldier, and I will not report at the canteen!”
His action of refusal was duly reported to the major who sent for him.
>> His companions taunted him as being “adamant” and “snobbish”
The young man went to the Major – with trembling knees but a steady heart – for he knew he was right.
The officer asked him, ‘Are you the young man who disobeyed orders this morning?’
>> “Yes, sir, I am.”
“Why did you do it?”
“Simply because I do not believe it is right to do what I was asked to do.
I enlisted to be a soldier and not a bartender.’
The officer arose quickly from his chair.
A trickle of fear went down the spine of the young man!
However, the officer extending his hand, said: “Young man, you are the kind of man we want.
I am glad to see a fellow who has the courage of his convictions.
You are not obliged to report at the canteen.
I am proud of your convictions!”
The young man was supposedly considered by others as being “adamant” and “proud”…
>> But the officer realized the worth of this young man – as having a courageous character of convictions!
True commitment and steadfast faithfulness in life requires the power of convictions and certainty!
Today we celebrate the Feast of St Thomas – who is popularly (or rather infamously) called as the “Doubting Apostle”.
He was probably considered by others as being “adamant” and “proud”…
• It was his search for convictions in life that made him seek for a proof for the Lord’s appearance
• It was his desire for certainty in life that caused him to doubt at the words of his companions over the Lord’s Resurrection.
The Lord realized the worth of this young man- as having a courageous character of convictions!
When we go through the life of St Thomas as seen in the Gospels, we encounter a person constantly displaying courage, expressing commitment and seeking for convictions.
St Thomas indeed stands out among the other apostles…
1. It was probably St Thomas who first expressed his desire to give up his life for the Lord and His Kingdom…
“Let us also go, that we may die with Him” (Jn 11: 16)
>> St Thomas becomes a motivation for all those who follow Christ, to be bold and brave and even to give up one’s life for the Lord and His Kingdom
2. It was St Thomas who had the simplicity and the openness to ask Jesus when the Lord had declared that “Where I am going you know the way..” and the Lord had responded “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”…
“Master, we do not know where you are going, how can we know the way?” (Jn 14:5)
>> St Thomas becomes a consolation to all those who face genuine uncertainties in spiritual life and encourages to remain like a child – in openness, simplicity and frankness.
3. It was St Thomas who refused the trust the words of his companions on the issue of the Jesus’ Resurrection.
>> He knew that many of his companions had impulsive reactions and therefore, could not be believed for their words. Therefore, he insisted that his belief in Christ’s Resurrection would depend only on His personal experience with the Lord
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in His Hands and put my finger into His side, I will not believe” (Jn 20:25)
>> St Thomas becomes a refuge for all those who grapple with spiritual anxieties – lack of consolation in prayer life, deep longing to experience God and many confusions regarding spiritual teachings and faith experiences
In St Thomas we have a saint who is very human and with whom we – who are often prone to mistakes and frail in weaknesses – can easily connect.
• He was brave, but also had his moments of feeling lost
• He was courageous, but also had his moments of seeking answers for doubts
• He was enthusiastic, but also had his moments of staying away from the faith-community
St Thomas is a shining beacon of courage.
• He had his doubts.
>> But once cleared, he became a person of immense conviction.
This conviction made him to travel across many lands to give witness to Jesus, His Lord and Master… and even to give up His life, in martyrdom!
Yes, True commitment and Steadfast faithfulness in life requires the power of convictions and certainty!
May St Thomas help us, with his intercession and inspiration, to become Christians of Conviction and Certainty and to firmly cry out, in joyful acclamation, “My Lord and My God”
Happy Feast of St Thomas, the Convinced Disciple of Christ!
>> Happy Feast of Faith and Belief, Boldness and Courage to all!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “There is no need to doubt that we possess faith in God…
… simply because we find it difficult to keep clear of sin
… or find ourselves diffident
… or even fearing that we will not be able to resist occasions of temptation.
>> Diffidence in our strength of will is not due to lack of resolve but is a true acknowledgement of our misery.
The fear of being able to resist temptations is better than considering ourselves strong and secure…
… because all that we do not expect from our own strength we hope to receive by means of God’s grace.
We must simply be on our guard and be humble so as not to fall victim to temptation!”