Sunday, April 7, 2013

May I see your identification?

I heard a fantastic homily today! The Gospel was from John, "But he [Thomas] said to them, 'Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe." The message I heard flipped my usual understanding of this Gospel in it's entirety. Rather than focus on belief and the disciples it was about Jesus' transformation and the inability to comprehend him anew (unfortunately this is not doing justice to what I actually heard). After reflecting on the homily I had a memory that put this into perspective from my own experienced. I recall a friend who moved away when I was young and had experienced transformation. There was hope that his life would be different upon returning to those of us who continued on with our usual things. Many people did not believe this was an actual transformation that occurred, and over time it appeared that the renewal was short lived. The sad thing was that we put him in a box and did not allow time for flourishing, and many said it was just an act that there was not change at all. Of course as an adult it is easy to see that moving back into the old routine, without proper supports in place, never is a good mix for a young person to maintain change, or any person for that matter. The difference in our faith is that Jesus did not need the apostles to support his transformation for the purpose of maintaining his resurrection. Rather they needed to experience him in the old in order to see him anew. For the first time I was not so ashamed of the Doubting Thomas that rises up so often, and realize that when honest about that doubt I can be moved to connect and support transformation in myself and others.

1 comment:

  1. I've been thinking quite a bit about May I see your identification. Yes, Thomas ask Jesus to identify himself and Jesus showed his wounds. When I think of the migrants in this area, they are asked to identify who they are. This is the story of a suffering people today and that's what I thought of as I read the title of the blog. People who are forced to lose their identity because of the wall and their identification becomes the wounds that are inflicted on them. And I put my own hands in their wounded selves. I believe I am called to be with them and reach out with the compassion of Jesus. May we begin to identify with the people who are suffering today in ways that will build bridges and not walls.