I have always liked the phrase “Irish twins”, referring to two children born to the same mother within a 12 month period. While originally used as a pejorative term against Irish Catholics who were too ignorant of or too Catholic for birth control, it no longer has that negative connotation. Rather, at least for me, it speaks of the closeness of larger families and the ways in which siblings can be so alike, even those who may not be actual twins. I have three sisters and while none of us are twins (or Irish twins for that matter) we are, in many ways, very much the same.
This Sunday’s Gospel has us reflecting on Thomas (a name which means twin), whose absence when Jesus first arrives in the midst of the rest of the disciples is the cause of disbelief that haunts his name for the rest of time. Talk about a pejorative term – “Thomas” has become synonymous with doubt even though he was probably not the first to question the resurrection of Jesus. Can we say that any of us would have acted differently, given that we are all told the resurrection story over and over again and still fail to believe. In that way, aren’t we all “twinned” to Thomas (my middle name btw) in that we each, at times, fail to believe unless we see?
If twins we are with Thomas in doubt, may we also be twinned with him in our profession of faith. I find Thomas proclamation “My Lord and my God” to be so fitting. It says it all without explanation. No attempt to make excuses for the unbelief, no lame babbling on, just a simple 5 words of profound faith that chart the course of the rest of Thomas’ life. Can it do the same for us? Can we find ways to mimic our twin brother Thomas over and over again throughout each day? To use these 5 words of prayer and praise in moments of joy/exhilaration as well as sorrow and defeat, can cast us into the presence of the one who is the cause of our joy and the answer to our misery.
Close families do look alike. Let us unite with others in faith as we worship and live together. May we use this simple prayer of Thomas and not be afraid to be known as twinned with other Christians on campus in our love for “my Lord and my God”!
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