Thoughts for the Month

Dear Friends,

But Thomas (who was called the twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord”. But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe”. John 20:24-25

As we celebrate Easter, I am very much aware of these words of Thomas after the resurrection.

We can believe that Theresa May is the Prime Minister, without having met her in the flesh; we can believe that New York exists without having been there. It’s not really very hard to believe in these things. We take them as read and after all they don’t really make that much difference to our day-to-day lives. Believing that something is true or false is often an open and shut thing. When Thomas saw Jesus in the flesh he stopped doubting.

But there’s another type of belief which asks much more of us. It’s the type of belief that asks us to trust. For faith has two sides to its coin: on the one hand, it asks us to believe that Jesus is the Son of God risen from the dead, and on the other, it asks us to trust our whole lives to him. This second side of the coin is trusting and surrendering ourselves to God. This is much more complex and is harder to sustain; as I have often said from the pulpit, the path towards holiness is often winding and uphill.

At Easter we will once again make our annual renewal of faith in our baptismal promises. We profess our belief in the articles of the Creed—our belief in the Triune God. However, it does not stop here, for if that is the end of the matter, then we are not being true to our calling as Christians. What about the rest of the year? Well, we have to live out the other side of this faith, we have to abandon ourselves to God’s loving care in all the ups and downs of daily life; to trust when trusting seems pointless, to keep hoping when others tell us to give up. This is the sort of faith that makes real demands on us.

If we are to live as a resurrection people, then we must pray that we will have faith to surrender ourselves to God’s will. Those first disciples were transformed by the power of the resurrection… Let us pray that we will be transformed as well!

Soul of Christ, sanctify me

Body of Christ, save me

Blood of Christ, inebriate me

Water from the side of Christ, wash me

Passion of Christ, strengthen me

O good Jesus, hear me

Within Thy wounds hide me

Suffer me not to be separated from Thee

From the malignant enemy defend me

In the hour of my death call me

And bid me come unto Thee

That with Thy saints I may praise Thee forever and ever.

Amen

Martin

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