See Easter 2 (Year B)

This year I particularly noticed sensate images in Holy Week. Here are a few:

The donkey’s breath, the foal’s weaving around her mother. The scent of palms trodden under foot.
The crash of tables and glissando of coins scattering on the pavement, the wind-sound of the whip of cords.
The unique footfall of each sister on the path: Martha’s sure and sturdy presence as she confronts Jesus, Mary’s lighter step as she runs. Jesus’ tears. His inexpertly stifled moan. The bandages covering Lazarus. And later, the scent of pure nard filling the house.
Outer garment laid aside. Towel. Water. The distinctive feet of each friend: calluses, sores, corns, scars, dirt, fungus, deformed and discolored toenails.
Bread broken. Wine poured. Judas going out into the night.
Bloody sweat of abject anguish.
Thirty pieces of silver.
A fire in the courtyard in the cold air. A cock crowing.
A bowl in which Pilate washes his hands.
Crown of thorns, purple robe, spittle. Blood. Mutilated flesh quivering like jelly on Jesus’ back. Weakness, falling. The cloth wiping sweat and blood from his face. Nails. Cross. Dice. Tunic without seam. Sponge. Vinegar. Spear. Water and blood. One hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes, fresh linen. Corpse. Tomb hewn out of the rock.

The Passion narrative emphasizes the very materiality of this particularly incarnational religion. And paradoxically, perhaps it is this materiality which makes it hard to recognize the Resurrected flesh of the Incarnate One, at least initially, although I don’t understand why. Why, near the tomb in the garden, on the road to Emmaus, in the Upper Room, on the beach in Galilee, was it difficult to recognize Jesus? What obscures normal sight and senses? Or does perceiving his presence demand a heightening of senses?

For Thomas, the privilege of doubt is a deeper embrace. Invited to place his hand in the divine wound, Thomas touches the interior flesh of the Beloved.
I’m beginning to realize this faith of mine isn’t just inside my head. I place my hand in Thomas’ hand.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: