Reflecting on John 20: 19-31
I have an aversion to a particular childhood game. What sort of sadist thought that children would enjoy walking around a circle until the music stops, then scramble to sit in the chair behind them? The tension is that there are only nine chairs for ten kids.
That insecurity about being the one for whom there is no chair―and hence exiled to the sidelines with the other weeping losers―has never left me. I have positioned myself to always be around the winners, to always, paraphrasing Carly Simon, be where I should be all the time.
That’s why I cringe for poor Thomas. He, too, tried to be where he should be all the time. When the disciples discouraged Jesus from going to Judea when Lazarus was sick, it was Thomas who said, “Let us go also, that we may die with him.” When Jesus promised that he was going to prepare a place for the disciples, it was insecure Thomas who asked to know exactly where that place was, so that he could follow. He wasn’t going to be left behind if Jesus did something wonderful in his absence.
So wouldn’t you know, it was this same disciple who happened to be away on that Easter night when the risen Christ appeared. How utterly frustrating for Thomas to arrive back and hear that he had just missed Jesus, that he was alive and had appeared to the others, but not to him.
As Thomas learned, it is never the Divine Mercy of Christ that we be left behind. By his cross and resurrection he redeemed us from Musical Chairs. He has secured a place for us, forever. Blessed be he.
How does the Easter Season bless you with the awareness of the Risen Christ?