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Reflections on Thomas
From our archives for Art Lovers
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by the Italian Baroque master Caravaggio, c. 1601–1602. It is housed in the Sanssouci Picture Gallery, now a museum, in Potsdam, Germany. 
The Show-Me Disciple (John 20:19-31)
Mary can’t experience the resurrected Jesus for the disciples, and the disciples can’t experience Jesus for Thomas. 

by Amy B. Hunter

Next Sunday's Gospel reading will be John 20:19-31. It is the aftermath of Jesus' death and resurrection as he is showing himself to the disciples who have hidden themselves away wondering what life will now hold for them.

So where was Thomas anyway that first Easter evening? In my childhood Sunday school classes, Thomas was a “bad guy.” When the other ten disciples told him that Jesus was alive after his crucifixion, Thomas refused to believe it. He separated himself from the others and demanded to see Christ for himself. In short, we learned that he was a dull, doubting follower of Christ whom we should not imitate. The moral of the story was clear—Don’t be like Thomas! Believe! Don’t doubt!

But I confess to a sneaking attraction to the rogues of scripture—Jacob the con artist, Jeremiah the complaining prophet, Peter the impulsive disciple. Perhaps because I’ve often found myself in Christian communities where no one voices doubt or struggle, I am reluctant to dismiss Thomas. At my evangelical college, we didn’t talk about our fears or failures because we thought others would judge us as unspiritual. And in churches that display only facades of niceness, I’ve discovered all sorts of anxieties and resentments festering underneath. I’ve watched people struggling alone with deep questions because they were afraid of how others might react to their doubts. Doubts and uncertainty frighten us. That’s why we reject Thomas—he dares to bring doubt into our lives of faith. READ MORE
Still Doubting
A modern rendering of the Caravaggio classic, The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, is housed in Cheshire Bangor Cathedral, North Wales, and is called Still Doubting by John Granville Gregory. The attached article compares the Caravaggio painting and what the modern-day “Thomas watcher” wants to communicate. READ: "STILL DOUBTING"
From Our Friend, James Martin, S.J.
Incredulità di San Tommaso / The Doubting of St. Thomas (2005) by Rocco Normanno. It is exhibited on USEUM
Thomas and Dealing with Doubt in the Church
by James Martin S.J.

Poor “Doubting Thomas,” the protagonist (with Jesus of course) of today's Gospel. St. Thomas the Apostle doubts once and gets saddled with that unfortunate moniker for all of human history. Which seems rather unfair. His friend Peter not only doubted, but denied Jesus at a most crucial moment, and what happened to him? He is called “Prince of the Apostles” and has a basilica named after him in Rome. 

After all, Thomas had more than enough reason to doubt. Jesus come back from the dead? Are you kidding me? Preposterous. His friends, Thomas must thought, were most likely laboring under some mass delusion. Jesus may have picked Thomas for his probing mind, his mental acuity, or his inability to be deceived, so perhaps Thomas was simply more demanding than the others, at least when it came to proof. On the other hand, perhaps Thomas should have believed what so many of his friends, so many witnesses, had told him. I wonder if the rest of the disciples, filled with joy at what they had seen, were annoyed at him. Spoilsport! READ MORE
PREP Update
Stations of the Cross for our Students
In reverence for Lent, Saint Ignatius PREP children reconnected as a class on Palm Sunday and "carried their crosses together" as they learned about the Stations of the Cross. As Pope Francis said, "It puts us in the story.”  

For many children, it was their first time praying the stations of the cross, and a real eye-opener.  One grade level at a time, classes met for one Sunday after Mass. Weather permitted two groups to meet outside in our quaint courtyard for stations, as intended. For other groups, the stations were either left in the church, or brought into the PREP area and spread out among the classrooms and corridor. Each grade had age-appropriate versions of the stations, and younger children were given small coloring books to take home. Each station was demarcated by a painting that children made during the fall retreat at Patapsco State Park (view event). These have been displayed in church throughout Lent.  Naturally everyone wore masks, social distanced, and broke up into smaller groups to stay safe.   It was delightful for students and teachers to connect live and have hope for days ahead! Thank you to all who participatedchildren, families and teachers alike. We are very grateful to those children who brought their Lenten rice bowls as well.  

We have given up many things for Lent...but never our faith, love and hope.  We will be changed forever after this particular cross of health and safety discernment, ambiguity, and great reflection. Let our focus be on God. Christ will rise!
Coordinator for PREP
From the Justice & Peace Committee

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In the Media
Two Catholic bishops assure transgender people: 'God resides in you'
A bishop, an archbishop and several other Catholic organizations and leaders released a letter March 31 with the Human Rights Campaign condemning discrimination and violence against transgender people and affirming their dignity.

"The defense of human dignity is one of our highest callings of our baptism," reads the letter, released first to NCR. "And we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to do all that is necessary to end discrimination and violence." READ MORE

Parish: 'the thought' is a publication of St. Ignatius Catholic Community-Baltimore. Each edition contains articles and news feeds that are included for awareness of current topics in our world today. The positions expressed by outside authors and news feeds are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of St. Ignatius Catholic Community or its staff.

 - This e-zine was designed and compiled by John C. Odean