Feast of Saint Thomas, 3rd July 2020
Resurrection is taking place now, though some may doubt it. I sit at my desk and a seed floats past from a species of willow herb picked yesterday, waiting for me to check it in the book, to find a name for it. Life emerging from a cut plant destined to wither. I wander into the garden and the uncared for corners have re-arranged themselves; magnificent Hollyhocks and Scotch thistles, all of six foot high, gracing the garden studio, indeed, hiding it from view, and sprays of bramble flowers drape themselves over the compost bins – I couldn’t have done it better. The lawn though could do with a bit of mowing. Do we have here something of that tension between the scene where Mary Magdalen is advised not to touch Jesus and today’s scene where Thomas is invited to do just that? Different verbs in the original, to be sure, but I wonder if there isn’t something common to them both in the desire to cling to a previous certainty, a certain state, whether it be the Jesus of old, or the completeness of death. What Jesus is inviting them both to do is to see and believe in an entirely new state of affairs. This is life, not only emerging from death, but a complete re-ordering of what we imagine life to be, and it’s threatening on every level: political, economic, social, religious, scientific, and perhaps there’s a parallel now in our re-emergence from the death inflicted on our present world through Covid-19. Can we grasp that there is a new world order in the making but that the certainty of Christ – of life as everlasting – remains?