As you can tell, I am behind on my weekend posting. Erratic posting will probably continue for the next couple of weeks, due to two trips, on which I do not plan to take my laptop. I will get reflections posted eventually, but they may be early or late.
The Sunday after Easter in many traditions is the time for telling the story of Thomas’ encounter with the Risen One. While the LCC reading is the Road to Emmaus, I have found myself pondering on Thomas in recent days. How often do we reach into wounds – our own and those of others – and scratch around, breaking open the sore so that it bleeds afresh? I can tell myself to let go, and yet I’m back to the wound again, picking away.
Thomas reaches his hand into the wounds of the Christ, but he does not addictively perpetuate pain. Rather, he finds there a redemptive vulnerability which remakes his life. The blood which flows onto his hands re-animates his heart. We might remember the teaching in some western esoteric schools that the hands are the most direct point of connetion to the spiritual heart. Thomas’ hand reaches into the wounded side of the Risen One, touching the very heart of Christ, and his own heart is ignited with the fire of the Spirit.
In touching our wounds and those of others, how can we encounter the very nature of Christ in those raw places? How can the blood, the life-stream of Christ, pour out in regeneration and grace, instead of deepening bitterness and pain? I don’t know the answers, but I think that Easter is the season for reaching out boldly to Christ, and placing our hands in his side, so that our wounds, like his, may become radiant points of light.
Easter is a season of surprise. The disciples on the road to Emmaus walk a long way with the Risen Christ, and yet do not know him until he breaks bread with them. Upon their recognition, he vanishes from sight. Thomas struggles with doubt and a desire to lay hold of the Resurrection in flesh, and Christ suddenly stands before him, offering his wounds to Thomas’ touch. What surprise, what startling newness, will this Easter bring to us?