On this day, the second Sunday of Pascha, in the Holy Orthodox Church, we inaugurate the celebration of Christâ€™s Resurrection, and the occasion whereon the Holy Apostle Thomas touched the Saviorâ€™s side.
This day is called New Sunday, Thomas Sunday or Anti-Pascha. The last term means â€śin place of Paschaâ€ť, because Thomas did not hear of Christâ€™s Resurrection and disbelieved it. We remember his doubt but do not repeat it. After this Sunday, the Church dedicates Sunday to the Resurrection.
As the Disciples were gathered together on the Sunday following the Resurrection, Jesus entered and greeted them in His usual way, saying, â€śPeace be unto you.â€ť Then He showed them His hands, feet and side. Jesus ate before His Disciples and reassured them of His Resurrection. However, Thomas was not with them at that time, and insisted upon seeing the Saviorâ€™s scarsâ€”the print of the nails in His hands and feet, and the spear in His sideâ€”before he would believe that Jesus was risen. The Master told Thomas to see and feel. Then Thomas immediately cried out, â€śMy Lord and my God!â€ť But Jesus tells His Disciples, â€śBlessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.â€ť This also clearly illustrates the two Natures of Christ: the human and the divine.
By the intercessions of Thine Apostle Thomas, O Christ our God, have mercy on us. Amen.