Sunday, December 20, 2009

21 December 2000" Stl Thomas the Apostle

St. Thomas was one of Jesus’ disciples and was called the twin. Little is know of him. In the gospels we are told that Thomas said they should go to Jerusalem with Jesus to die with him, expressing his faith. Thomas though is far more known as being “Doubting Thomas,” for saying he would not believe in the resurrection if he did not touch the nail holes in Jesus’ hands. Jesus reveals himself to Thomas, who exclaims, “My Lord and my God!”

Thomas first served in Syria. From Syria he travelled to India to Palayoor. He stayed there until the year 52 when he travelled to what is now southern Kerala state where he established seven churches. (It is said he was assigned to India by lots between the apostles. He was martyred in Kerala by Bramins who did not want him converting the people to Chrisianity. Most of this part of India remained under the jurisdiction of the Church of the East until more recent times. Today Mar Thoma Christians are divided up between Roman Catholic, Church of the East, Jacobites and Anglicans.

It is interesting to note that there were Jewish colonies in both Palayoor and Kerala, so just as Joseph of Arimathea travelled to Jewish colonies to first proclaim the Gospel, and Paul also visited the Jews at first, so did Thomas visit the Jewish communities first.

Thomas must be admired for his tenacity in travelling such a long way, as tansportaiton in the first centruay was not very good,

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