Today’s the feast of Thomas, famous for doubting that Jesus really had risen from the dead. ‘Unless I see his wounds … unless I put my hand in his side he would not believe. He speaks for many people who find it hard to believe without solid physical proof. When Jesus returns a week later, he is so real and unmistakable that Thomas forgets his demands of physical proof. Meeting Christ is overwhelming and utterly convincing, and it still is.
Malcolm Guite has written a sonnet for him:
“We do not know… how can we know the way?”
Courageous master of the awkward question,
You spoke the words the others dared not say
And cut through their evasion and abstraction.
Oh doubting Thomas, father of my faith,
You put your finger on the nub of things
We cannot love some disembodied wraith,
But flesh and blood must be our king of kings.
Your teaching is to touch, embrace, anoint,
Feel after Him and find Him in the flesh.
Because He loved your awkward counter-point
The Word has heard and granted you your wish.
Oh place my hands with yours, help me divine
The wounded God whose wounds are healing mine.
(Sonnet from Guite’s ‘Sounding the Seasons’.)