Daily Gospel – Wednesday, July 3, 2024 – John 20,24-29 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (Ephesians 2:19-22)

Reading of Saint Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians.

Brothers, you are no longer foreigners or migrants, but fellow citizens with the saints. You are part of the family of God. You were integrated into the building that has the apostles and prophets as its foundation, and Jesus Christ himself as its main stone. It is in him that the entire construction adjusts and rises to form a Holy temple in the Lord. And you are also integrated into this construction, to become the dwelling place of God by the Spirit.

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (John 20,24-29)

Proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Thomas, called Didymus, who was one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples later told him: “We have seen the Lord!” But Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the prints of the nails in his hands, unless I put my finger in the prints of the nails and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Eight days later, the disciples were gathered at home again, and Thomas was with them. When the doors were closed, Jesus entered, stood among them and said: “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands. Reach out your hand and place it in my side. And do not be unbelieving, but faithful.” Thomas replied, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Did you believe because you saw me? Blessed are those who believed without having seen!”

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are invited to reflect deeply on our faith and our identity as members of God’s family. The readings we have just heard – St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and the Gospel of John – offer us a rich and inspiring insight into our spiritual journey. May these words not only touch our hearts, but also motivate us to live in accordance with Christ’s teachings, strengthening our faith and communion.

Saint Paul, in the letter to the Ephesians, reminds us that we are no longer foreigners or strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the family of God. He speaks of a spiritual construction, a building that has Christ Jesus as its cornerstone. This powerful image shows us that we are part of something much bigger than ourselves – a community of faith, a living church, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ as the stone that holds it all together.

To better understand this metaphor, let’s think about a real construction. Each stone, each brick, has its specific place and function. Separated, they may seem insignificant, but together they form a strong and stable structure. So are we, members of the body of Christ. Each of us has a unique and irreplaceable role in the Church. When we come together, guided by Christ, we become a holy dwelling place for God.

Saint Paul emphasizes our transformation from strangers and outsiders into members of God’s family. This is an invitation to inclusion and belonging. No matter our past, our failures, or where we begin our spiritual journey, in Christ, we find our home. We are welcomed, loved and integrated into the great divine family. It is a call to live in unity, to support each other and to build a strong community together, reflecting the love and peace of Christ.

In the Gospel of John, we find the story of Thomas, also known as “Thomas the unbeliever”. Thomas was not present when Jesus appeared to the other disciples after the resurrection and expressed doubts about Jesus’ resurrection until he could see and touch the nail marks in His hands and the wound in His side. When Jesus appears again and invites Thomas to touch His wounds, Thomas makes one of the most powerful declarations of faith in the New Testament: “My Lord and my God!”

The story of Thomas is one of the most human and touching in the Gospel. Who among us hasn’t had doubts at some point? Who hasn’t looked for tangible signs of God’s presence in our lives? Thomas’ doubt is not a sign of weakness, but a manifestation of his sincere search for truth. Jesus does not reject him because of his unbelief; rather, He invites you to see, touch and believe.

Thomas represents all of us, in our search for a faith that is, at the same time, deeply personal and communal. Jesus says to Thomas, “Blessed are they who have not seen and yet have believed.” This is a challenge and a blessing for all of us who, although we have not physically seen the resurrected Christ, believe in His resurrection and living presence in our lives. Faith is a leap into the unknown, but it is a leap sustained by trust in the word of God and in the witness of the community of faith.

Let us return to the image of the spiritual building that Saint Paul offers us. How can we strengthen this construct in our daily lives? First, we need to cultivate our faith, both personally and communally. Prayer, reading the Bible, the sacraments and active participation in the life of the Church are fundamental. They are the building blocks that strengthen our connection with God and each other.

Furthermore, we are called to be living witnesses of the love of Christ. Faith is not just a matter of intellectual belief; It’s a life transformation. When we live according to Christ’s teachings – loving, forgiving, serving – we become true living stones in the spiritual edifice of the Church.

Let us also think about how we can welcome others into our community. Just as we have been welcomed into God’s family, we should open our hearts and arms to others, especially those who feel like strangers or outsiders. Our community should be a reflection of Christ’s inclusive love, where everyone finds a place and purpose.

The story of Thomas teaches us that doubt can be a door to deeper faith. Instead of fearing or hiding our doubts, we should bring them to Christ, who meets us in our moments of uncertainty and offers us His peace and His presence. Thomas, by recognizing Jesus as “My Lord and my God”, shows us that true faith is a personal and profound response to the encounter with Christ.

Let us now have a moment of silence to reflect on what we heard. Let us close our eyes and ask God for the grace to strengthen our faith, to be living stones in the spiritual edifice of the Church and to welcome others with the love of Christ.

Lord, we thank You for today’s words. Strengthen our faith and help us to live according to Your will. May we be light and salt in the world, reflecting Your love in every action and word. Help us build a strong, united community where everyone feels welcomed and loved. Amen.

My brothers and sisters, as we leave here today, let us take with us the hope and determination to live as true followers of Christ. May God’s grace accompany us and may we be instruments of His peace and love in the world. Remember, we are called to be light and salt – let us shine and flavor the world with the goodness, justice and love of God. Amen.