February 13th 2009, 07:03 AM #1
The most exemplarily lonely life and death of Apostle Thomas.
I, as a lonely Indian Christ-follower ministering mainly Muslims, get much consolation from the life of Thomas, the apostle to India . A real follower is sure to be lonely even when surrounded by the worldly multitudes as he is not of this world. Only the invisible presence of Christ and communion of saints sustain him.
Among apostles St. Thomas was the loneliest. Other Apostles worked mainly among Jews, Greeks, and Romans with whom they were acquainted from childhood. Usually they moved with companions as free men. Apostle Peter was even accompanied by his wife; it is said. But Thomas was celibate like me and tradition says that he went out as a lone slave to completely unknown India acording to the wish of Christ. No wonder he was reluctant at first as tradition says.
Coming to India he built missions. Only the last mission of his ripe old age in Indian Kerala state survives and flourishes.
But when very old seek retirement among comforting dear ones, he was ordered to move alone to unknown destination crossing two big mountain ranges. Reaching Madras (now Chennai) in the opposite shore, he faced severe animosity. He had to live alone in a jungle cave away from hostile habitation. He had to lie on rough rock bottom of the low rock cave among jungle denizens. I have seen that cave.
Here elusive enemy pierced him at dusk. Helpless and bleeding he pulled himself up the mountaintop in the starlight. There he bled to death..
Christ followers must be ready to live and die like Thomas leaving the body to nature. Many Christian died so and still die. What counts is with whom we are and where we go to- communion of saints or devils. Modern superb medical service and communication amount to nothing to soul as that can’t give us internal consolation of heaven, our real abode. For that obedience to Christ is necessary. St. Thomas obeyed at last and now shines. Heavenly Father has set him as our guiding star.
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