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The Chalice
Friday, April 22 2022

Thomas

Isolated

Confused

Afraid

Doubting

Sadness

Emptiness

Loneliness

Pain

Devastation

Alone

    without community

Alone

    what made sense then

    seems ridiculous now.

Desolation.

A dark night.

He asks,

How then shall I live?

Out of the darkness,

an optimistic note,

a ray of light.

There comes encounter.

A hand extended,

A side plunged into.

And with encounter,

An invitation.

To let go of

    disappointment

    anger

    shame

    fear

    pain.

To be free of

    sadness

    emptiness

    loneliness

    guilt

And be reconciled.

An invitation to

    Mercy

    and to

    Trust.

To Thomas,

    He says,

“Do not be afraid.

    I did not leave you!

    I still love you.

Do not be afraid.

    You are not alone.

    I am with you.

Do not fear

    opening your heart again.

    I am here.

    You are safe.

    You are forgiven.

    You are loved.”

In His hands, His side,

An invitation to Hope.

An invitation to Love.

An invitation to Joy.

This is your Easter, Thomas.

By: Rebecca Ruiz

This poem by Rebecca Ruiz, entitled "This is Your Easter, Thomas" captures humanity wrestling with the dichotomy of doubt and faith, despair and hope, darkness and light. Every year, the Sunday following Easter, the church recites this gospel recounting the events of the only apostle to have a nickname such as this: Doubting Thomas. The reason this story is told every year, eight days after the Resurrection of Jesus, is because the story takes place approximately a few days after Christ was raised from the dead and appeared to the disciples in the locked upper room. Rebecca's poem calls us to recognize our own human experience: isolation, confusion, fear, doubt, sadness, emptiness, loneliness, pain, devastation. These are all experiences related to the human condition. The reality is that, like Thomas, we're never alone in our doubts. We all struggle with aspects of humanity and faith. 

It's the three italicized lines from the poem I want to bring to your attention to: How then shall I live?, There comes encounter, and An Invitation. How then shall I live: It is usually at our lowest lows that we start to have bouts of doubt, not at our highest highs. It's the moments when we ask God how to move on from the low where we are, to a safe space. There comes encounter: After we find the safe space comes the encounter with Jesus and ourselves. It is usually a moment when we have to meet our own wounds and recognize them. It's here that we see our own brokenness, and acknowledge that we are a sinful people. An invitation: the invitation that Jesus gives Thomas to feel his wounds is an invitation for us as well. If we encounter our own brokenness, we can (as our poet says) let go of disappointment, anger, shame, fear, and pain. We can be free of sadness, emptiness, loneliness, guilt, and be reconciled.

For all of us Thomas' out there, may this Easter season be a moment of resurrection and new life for us. The resurrected Jesus is here with us. Remember: You are safe. You are forgiven. You are loved.

Peace be with you,

Fr. James

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Posted by: The Rev. James E. Reiss AT 01:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email