Thursday, July 03, 2014

Unless I See

Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle

You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.  Ephesians 2:19-20

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.  So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”  But Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”  John 20:24-25

May I know Thee more clearly,
Love Thee more dearly,
Follow Thee more nearly. 
(Prayer attributed to the 13th-century English bishop Saint Richard of Chichester that inspired lyrics to the song “Day by Day” in Godspell.)

What makes a community?  Part of that answer is shared experience.  Thomas was a part of the community in the early church.  However, when the Lord appeared in the Upper Room, Thomas was not with the group.  He reacted with disbelief and denial when hearing about the experience his friends shared together.

Our Christian community has more in common with the disbelievers (Thomas) and deniers (Peter) than we might imagine.  We cannot see the mark of the nails in Christ’s hands and feet.  We cannot explore the wounds with our fingers or put our hands in his side. 

The body of Christ and the wounds we see today are the human condition on the individual and collective levels. 

We can experience the wounds of Christ through our involvement with the wounds of our community and what we might do to heal them.  We can put out fingers into hunger by volunteering at a food pantry, soup kitchen or donating food to a food drive. We can put our hand into the gash of domestic violence by making sure families in crisis have someplace safe to go.  We can explore the nail marks of modern slavery by working to prevent human trafficking.  We can put our fingers into the nail marks of loneliness by visiting persons who are sick, homebound or hospitalized.

What wounds will you see today?  What can you do to heal them?

No comments: