See, Touch, Believe

image by He Qi
image by He Qi

This Easter season is not so easily under­stood. We know Jesus rose from the dead; we cannot so easily grasp how this has an immediate effect on us. The resurrec­tion is a mystery. Risen Life is different, a new happening, a fresh experience. Most surely, risen Life is of God. It instills Easter joy.

Our gospel shows us why the resurrection makes all the difference in the world. When the risen Lord appears to the disciples locked away behind closed doors, fear is dispelled by peace, sin is dispelled by forgiveness, doubt is dispelled by Presence, unbelieving is dispelled by seeing-believing. The Lord comes to the disciples a first time on that first Easter Sunday evening when Thomas is not present. Thomas makes known quite clearly to the other disciples what he needs in order to believe that Jesus is alive. He must encounter, see, touch—put his finger and hand in the wounds that he expects to see on Jesus’ body.

A week later, when Thomas is present, Jesus appears to the disciples again, and responds to Thomas’s unbelief. Jesus is not angry with Thomas for not be­lieving; he does not judge him. He simply invites: here, see, touch, and believe. Seeing-believing—for Thomas and for us—is not merely an exercise in intellec­tual assent, but a practical encounter played out through our acceptance of the risen Life that is offered us. Risen Life is God’s divine Life transforming who and how we are. Resurrection makes all the difference—for us, for all of creation. [Living Liturgy 2013]

We live risen Life and hasten its fulfillment when we, like Thomas, see and believe. See­ing is believing. What do we see? People in need. How do we believe? Reach out and touch them with transforming presence. What do we see? Unjust situations. How do we believe? Act to transform systems and relationships. What do we see? Holiness in others who fol­low Christ. How do we believe? Choose to be transformed with them as the Body of Christ.
A musical reflection…