Thomas the Practical – Reflection for 23 April 2017
The Gospel writer speaks of Jesus appearing to the disciples and they are rejoicing in the presence of the risen Lord. They get excited and tell Thomas, who was on a business trip to who knows where.
We don’t know why Thomas was not with them, but we do have his comments about what they were telling him. I can just imagine the thoughts going through Thomas’s head, ‘oh boy, the guys are on something that was in the fish the other night’, ‘time to set this straight’, he blurts out that unless the hands and side is where he can touch and see, he is going to assume they are overly excited and out of touch with reality. The reality is that Jesus died on the cross, period, no fainting, no faking, no nothing, he died, he is dead, don’t you understand the truth of the matter?
His frustration with the guys is very plain, he may want to believe but Thomas is very familiar with what death looks and feels like, he knows Jesus is dead.
Thomas is a blessing for us as he states the truth of the matter, which we don’t always grasp in our modern world as we are isolated from the reality of death, that Jesus died, dead, not living, cold, etc.. This is something we need to come to grips with ourselves that Jesus really died.
Granted, Thomas gets rebuked and he repents when the fullness of the resurrection hits home with his proclamation of ‘my Lord and my God’. I can’t help but think that Jesus gets a little smile on his face when the impact of the risen Christ hits home to Thomas. You see, I believe many of us are Thomas in our relationship with Christ, we acknowledge the crucifixion and the empty tomb, but avoid the reality of the upper room. Like Thomas we know Jesus of the past but we don’t know the Jesus of the now. We tend to keep him outside the room of our lives and talk about him as though he were a museum exhibit, to be looked at and viewed and appreciated for what he did, but he has not come into our realm of life, of our reality, of our dreams, of our relationships. We run away from Peace be with you and exclaim unless I put my fingers etc. etc..
Peter for all his blowhard statements gets things right, in spite of himself, when he says we have new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Peter allows Jesus to be in the now with him and allows the Holy Spirit to be in residence. Jesus died, no mistake, Jesus rose, no mistake, Jesus ascended into Heaven, no mistake, and ‘we are blessed because we have not seen, but have yet come to believe’. Because of this we can now see through what was once blind eyes. Jesus Christ is Risen and is the Lord of the now, open your hearts so that he can open your eyes to the love that God has for his creation and his Son, Jesus the Christ.