With his searching right hand, Thomas did probe Your life-bestowing side, O Christ God; for when You did enter while the doors were shut, he cried out unto You with the rest of the Apostles: You are my Lord and my God.
~ Kontakion of the Sunday of St. Thomas
The story of “doubting” St. Thomas is read both at the Agape Vespers the morning of Pascha and during the Sunday after Pascha, St. Thomas Sunday. It is interesting to me that the Orthodox tradition does not seem to criticize St. Thomas for his doubt but rather, as does the hymn above, praises his confession and even, perhaps, “his searching right hand,” i.e. his skepticism.
The biblical story comes from the Gospel of John:
Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 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.”
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!” 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.”
And Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
(John 20:24-29) Continue reading