Month: April 2015
The story of the Resurrection is one which is at the heart of the Christian message – and for many it is a real roadblock on the way to faith.
In this Gospel reading we’re presented with the story of Thomas who is struggling with the idea of the resurrection, not having physically witnessed it himself. So often we read this questioning in a negative light, and we forget the great admonition of St Paul to ‘test everything, hold on to what is good’ [1Th 5:21].
For Thomas the seeming absurdity of the claims being made by the other Apostles of Christ’s resurrection had to be verified and Jesus was absolutely unafraid to provide Thomas with the opportunity to do just that.
It is particularly fitting that Jesus proved his resurrection to Thomas through the evidence of his wounds.
It is right here, in these wounds that we encounter Jesus. Commenting on this passage, Pope Francis wrote the “path to our encounter with Jesus-God are his wounds. There is no other.”
We might complain today that, unlike Thomas, we do not have the opportunity to feel these wounds which are imprinted on the flesh of Christ. How can I verify this claim of the resurrection today?
“We find Jesus’ wounds in carrying out works of mercy, giving to our body – the body – the soul too, but – I stress – the body of your wounded brother, because he is hungry, because he is thirsty, because he is naked because it is humiliated, because he is a slave, because he’s in jail because he is in the hospital. Those are the wounds of Jesus today…
Let us ask St. Thomas for the grace to have the courage to enter into the wounds of Jesus with tenderness and thus we will
These words strike me with a particular strength. ‘He saw and believed.’
The disciples had followed Jesus for three years, and upon his arrest only John had stuck around to witness the horrific events of his execution and death. News had obviously circulated and the disciples, whether they had physically witnessed it or not, no doubt knew and understood the fate of their friend.
Overcome with grief, Peter and John ran to the gravesite upon hearing Mary Mag′dalene’s news of the open tomb. John reached the tomb earlier but waited for Peter to enter first.
What they saw was enough – without seeing or conversing with the resurrected Jesus (something that they would do in the not too distant future), they ‘saw and believed.’
So often for us today, sight is required for belief in almost everything. For the most part we require an experience of something if we are to profess our belief in it – particularly if said assertion is extraordinary, as in the case of the resurrection. In such a circumstance, how are we to come to belief? Where is my evidence for belief in the resurrection?
If the resurrection had not happened things would be different. There would be no reason at all for our hope. Death would be the end.
Our evidence then is not just the verbal or written testimony of those men and women who witnessed the risen Lord – but it is the witness of the lives of those around us which have been radically transformed by the hope which accompanies this resurrection. As we enter into these last few days of the Lenten season we rightly reflect on the suffering and death of Our Lord, but let us not give in to despair. This is not the end, for he has overcome death.
Point to Ponder
“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” Pope St John Paul II