"The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God." -St Irenaeus of Lyon

A Straight-Up Rant

I know that is an ironic title for the day that I consider reflecting on the Gospel reading of the day, but I would like to set the stage for my reflections with a story.

There are hundreds of people in my city who I will never meet, but I have gotten to know a handful of really interesting people who live here through driving for Meals on Wheels. My route brings me through the heart of downtown where I frequently run into stories of people being evicted owing to any number of factors. Today one of the women on my route was packing again but her new apartment will still be on my route. When I met her, she lived in a squalid apartment where I was afraid of the many different types of insects. I had never quite seen bugs like that so they managed to freak me out. And I live in a fairly standard American town.

I also hope to learn a lot more about poverty in general over the next several years, thinking about how engineers can make a difference. And even though I have not seen it first-hand, I know millions of people confront all sorts of squalid and dark conditions today. They might make their living scavenging massive landfills for salvageable materials, they might be staring out over their garden seeing nothing but wilted plants, they might be huddled inside trying to avoid the threats that only come out in the night.

So I am left to wonder: where is the Resurrection? Where is Christ’s power? Can Christ really enter and conquer the depths of sin and death to the point of transfiguring the entire earth?

Enter Thomas. …and today’s Gospel reading (taken from the 20th chapter of St John’s Gospel)

St. Thomas is often called the doubter owing to this Gospel; and year after year, I hear about his faith. His declaration of “My Lord and my God” is one of the simplest declarations of faith as it acknowledges everything we can about Christ. We have something experiential in St Thomas’s declarations… “Unless I… place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into His side, I will never believe.” St Thomas wants to dive right into Christ, touch the reality of Resurrection, by going to the places in the most pain.

It is easier to appreciate the Resurrection at a distance instead of trying to see Christ at work, bringing healing to the places around us.  We would prefer to not get involved, particularly when we anticipate encountering people in great need and poverty in every sense of those words.

But diving into situations that bring us right in contact with where people suffer and encountering the resurrected Christ even in the darkest of circumstances… what other response could we have other than to cry out in awe-full wonder “My Lord and my God!”?

St Thomas, pray for us that we may seek the resurrected Christ even in the places marked by suffering.

CHRIST IS RISEN! Let us worship His Holy Resurrection!

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