​​​​​​​Reflection for Second Sunday of Easter


Denny WindowReflection for the Second Sunday of Easter 2020 

John 20:19-31      

Every day, except in our present circumstances, Morning Prayer is said in the Thomas Chapel, a space made special for so many people by Tom Denny’s wonderful stained glass. The central window illustrates our gospel reading for today, Thomas acknowledging the Risen Christ.

Today's reading from St John’s gospel follows on directly from the scene in the garden where Mary Magdalene is commissioned to proclaim the resurrection. That same evening Jesus appears in the house where the disciples are huddled together in a locked room, a frightened, grieving and dispirited group of people. Their entire world had collapsed with the death of Jesus, the death not only of a beloved friend and companion, but the death of all their hopes for the coming of the Messiah.  Then suddenly he is there, among them.  There is no word of reproach for these people who have denied and deserted him. Instead he greets them with words of peace.  In that moment, the past is swept away; everything changes for them and they are filled with joy.

But, for some unspecified reason, Thomas wasn't there.  I have to confess that I have a very soft spot for Thomas the twin.  How awful it is to be the latecomer, the one to miss all the excitement and how terribly human it is that he wants proof that the others have seen the Lord.   But one week later Jesus appears again, and shows Thomas his wounded hands and feet, inviting him to “reach out your hand and put it in my side”.  With a wonderful irony it is Thomas, the one who embodied disbelief, who now articulates what is the climax of the gospel narrative - 'My Lord and my God'.  He proclaims Jesus as the one true God, as John had hinted at in the prologue to the gospel.

Thomas has seen and believed, but the days of the Lord's physical presence are almost over.  Jesus' response to him encourages us all down the ages: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” In this new era of the Risen Lord, faith in Jesus is no longer based on physical contact and witnessing signs, but on hearing the word that is preached by disciples past and present.  Through the incarnation, Jesus becoming human, his dying on the cross and his resurrection, we are invited into the very life of God. “To all who received, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God”. John1:12

In these challenging times of living with Covid-19 and its effects, the Easter light shines undimmed. May we all live in the Light of Christ and reflect his light in our care of one another.

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Canon Celia Thomson

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