In the second reading, I looked up Patmos and found it is a Greek Isle. You can go on a pilgrimage to the cave where John received his revelation (to write down everything he sees). There are several monasteries on the island.
Doubting Thomas. I tried to put myself in Thomas' place. Would I have believed the other apostles, or would I have said, "Yeah, right. I won't believe it 'til I see it." In these times of photoshop, I don't think I would have even believed it if I saw a picture of it. I would have to be like Thomas & want to actually put my fingers & hands in his wounds. The apostles definitely had one advantage over us: they could see Jesus to have faith. We may not be able to actually see Him, but we can see him through other people. Just as we would want others to be able to see Him through us.
As I read through other homilies/devotions, these things caught my attention and gave me something to think about:
(From USCCB) Poor Thomas. He's best known for doubting; his doubt overshadows other times he's mentioned. (I have to admit, I had completely forgotten about those times!) He showed courage when he offered to go with Jesus to Lazarus' house. Jesus said to Thomas at the last supper: I am the way, the truth, and the life.
(From Loyola Press) The apostles found the courage to leave the upper room in order to spread the gospel.
(From One Bread One Body) Fear feeds doubt. It's a vicious cycle, because doubt also "makes us susceptible to fear, which makes our doubts worse, trapping us in greater fears and uncertainties."
In the Homily at Mass (I'll get to more on that in a minute), Father said that church is the upper room. We see people at Mass, but do they/we have the courage to leave the upper room to spread the gospel, or are they/we afraid that it's not "cool", or that they/we will be ridiculed, or even that they/we won't have the right words to say when confronted about their/our faith? Could you imagine if every person who attends Mass would leave there and join the apostles with their work?
During the Homily, Father said that we are called to be people of Faith. The apostles knew they were in trouble, knew there were people out to kill them when Jesus appears to them and says, "Peace be with you." He sends the apostles out to carry mercy to the whole world. Jesus calls us to that upper room. The church is that upper room. He calls us to the same faith as He called the apostles.
Faith is what we have when we have no proof. I think it was easier for the apostles to have faith, because they actually had Jesus there with them; they saw Him after the resurrection and saw His wounds with their own eyes.
We say the words of Thomas when the Eucharist is elevated during mass: My Lord and my God. We say this as a sign of faith. Father asked that we pray to God for courage to stop our unbelief and to put all of our trust in Him.
Father mentioned that Thomas went to India. Later in the homily, he mentioned the Indian priest who was crucified on Good Friday. His name: Thomas. May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.