Christ is risen!
To-day we are keeping the day of St Thomas the Apostle. Too often we
remember him only as a doubter; indeed he is the one who questioned the
message which the other Apostles brought to him when they said: Christ
is risen! We have seen Him alive!
But he is not one who doubted throughout his life or who remained
unfaithful to the fullness of the divine revelation of Christ. We must
remember that when the Apostles and the Lord heard of the illness of
Lazarus, Christ said to them: Let us return to Jerusalem. To which the
others said: But the Jews wanted to kill you there. Why should we
return? Only Thomas the Apostle answered: Let us go with Him and die
with Him. He was prepared not only to be His disciple in words, not only
to follow Him as one follows a teacher, but to die with Him as one dies
with a friend and, if necessary, for a friend. So, let us remember his
greatness, his faithfulness, his wholeness.
But what happened then when after the Resurrection of Christ, the
Apostles said to the one who had not seen Christ risen, that they had
actually seen the risen Christ? Why did he not accept their message? Why
did he doubt? Why did he say that he must have proofs, material proofs?
Because when he looked at them, he saw them rejoicing in what they had
seen, rejoicing that Christ was not dead, rejoicing that Christ was
alive, rejoicing that victory had been won. Yet, when he looked at them
he saw no difference in them.. These were the same men, only full of joy
instead of fear. And Thomas said: Unless I see, unless I probe the
Resurrection, I cannot believe you.
Is it not the same thing that anyone can say to us who meets us?
We proclaimed the Resurrection of Christ, passionately, sincerely,
truthfully, a few days ago. We believe in it with all our being; and
yet, when people meet us in our homes, in the street, in our place of
work, anywhere, do they look at us and say: Who are these people? What
has happened to them?
The Apostles had seen Christ risen, but the Resurrection had not become
part of their own experience. They had not come out of death into
eternal life. So it is also with us; except with the saints, when they
see them, they know that their message is true.
What is it in our message that is not heard? Because we speak, but are
not. We should be so different from people who have no experience of the
living Christ, risen, who has shared His life with us, who sent the Holy
Spirit to us as, in the words of C.S. Lewis, a living person is
different from a statue. A statue may be beautiful, magnificent,
glorious, but it is stone. A human being can be much less moving in his
outer presence, yet he is alive, he is a testimony of life.
So let us examine ourselves. Let us ask ourselves where we are. Why is
it that people who meet us never notice that we are limbs of the risen
Christ, temples of the Holy Spirit? Why?
Each of us has got to give his own reply to this question. Let us, each
of us, examine ourselves and be ready to answer before our own
conscience and do what is necessary to change our lives in such a way
that people meeting us may look at us and say: Such people we have never
seen. There is something about them that we have never seen in anyone.
What is it?.. And we could answer: It is the life of Christ abroad in us.
We are His limbs. This is the life of the Spirit in us. We are His