Notice During the Covid-19 Outbreak
In solidarity, we at the Interfaith Peace Project stand together in these times of heart break and upset. Some of you may have lost friends or family members. Some of you may have lost your job and your income; some may be working overtime to help with the crisis. Some of you may be home and alone and some may be trying to figure out a new way to live. Please let us know how we can help. If you would like a phone appointment with any of us, give us a call.You may call or email Tom at:
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July 2, 2020
A Reflection from the Christian Traditions:
BEYOND ANY DOUBT
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
July 3 celebrates the Feast of the Apostle Thomas in many Christian Churches. It is a Feast I have always loved. While named after Thomas Aquinas by my Great Grandmother, I honor the Apostle of great and uncompromising courage. All of us need courage (faith) to cope with the current situation. Thomas, the Apostle, reminds us of the excellent virtue of courage in troubled times.
It is more than fashionable to think of Thomas in terms of doubt since he does not readily accept the testimony of the other disciples of Jesus who claim they have seen their Risen Lord. Poor Thomas has been dubbed ‘the Doubter’ ever since (see John 20: 26-28). Let’s examine the story a little more closely.
Thomas was not with the disciples when Jesus appeared. They were “locked behind closed doors in fear” when the Risen Jesus suddenly appeared. Thomas was not “locked in fear”. He was, we can surmise, out and about his daily life. Thomas may have been the one to go out for the necessary provisions so the disciples could survive in their shut-in fear. This is typical of Thomas in this Gospel. Thomas is not afraid to die with or for Jesus (see John 11: 16).
It is more than surprising that the disciples who saw the Risen Jesus are still locked behind closed doors when Thomas returns. Perhaps they still lack courage.
Thomas asked the crucial question, “How can I believe unless I touch his wounds?” Thomas actually believed the Risen One would have wounds! Finally, Jesus appears again. Thomas now has his opportunity to ‘probe’ the Wounds of the Risen One. There is a great lesson here. More often than not, it is the wounded ones who rise up in the cause of what is right, true, good, and just. We might follow their example.
Probe the wounds of those afflicted by the virus resisting any attempt to make it a political dispute.
Touch the wounds of the children of slavery and oppression walking with them in the pathways of justice.
Probe the wounds of the imprisoned advocating for their human rights and dignity.
Touch the wounds of the victims of homelessness seeking to shelter them in house and heart.
Probe the wounds of those who hate transforming them with the gifts of your understanding and compassion.
Touch the wounds of those who care for the sick and dying holding them in your prayer and soul.
Probe the wounds of those who love joining them in the practice of generous self-giving.
Touch the wounds of your own life finding the courage of your heart for self and others.
Invite the Risen One to visit you so you might probe the wounds in his heart which are no less than the wounds and hurts of the peoples of the World. Thank you for being his risen and loving touch in our hurting, longing, and hoping World.