The Incredulity of St. Thomas

by Caravaggio (1603)

Caravaggio offers us a profound theology of innocence through the beauty of his art. Known for his gritty realism, Caravaggio has Jesus grasping the hand of the apostle Thomas and thrusting it deep within the wound at his side, powerfully aligning Jesus’ and St. Thomas” hands to form a lance. St. Thomas” face expresses profound surprise as his finger thrusts deep into Jesus’ wound. Perhaps, the surprise has to do with his unbelief. It could also be surprise at the realization that he, too, is also pierced. Indeed, St. Thomas appears to clutch his side as if he becomes aware of a wound at his side as well.

Luke 1:26-37

17 But you, beloved, must remember the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 for they said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, indulging their own ungodly lusts.” 19 It is these worldly people, devoid of the Spirit, who are causing divisions. 20 But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; 21 keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on some who are wavering; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; and have mercy on still others with fear, hating even the tunic defiled by their bodies.

24 Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

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