08 April 2021

Incredulous for joy

Thursday of the Easter Octave

Fr. Philip Neri Powell OP

St. Dominic Priory, NOLA

The disciples move from being startled, troubled, and terrified to being incredulous, joyful, and amazed. What moves them such a long emotional distance in so short a time? Jesus answers their fear with an imperative, Touch me and see.” We might say that this is the sacramental, the incarnational response to human fear and doubt. We might say that Jesus – knowing human nature so intimately – knows that his frightened, dispirited friends need something more than an argument, a mystical vision, or a visit from an angel – they need him. Up close and personal, viscerally real – they need him. And they get him. Flesh, bones, wounds, and appetite. Fears allayed, they are ready. Christ opens their minds to show them how he has fulfilled Scripture and how they are witnesses to his fulfillment. While not yet set on fire by the H.S., they are nonetheless fortified in their mission with two truths: first, Christ Jesus was and is who he claimed and claims to be; and, second, they are the living, breathing recorders of how he revealed himself to the world. We are heirs to these truths and instruments of their proclamation. What fears and doubts we might have are defeated sacramentally and incarnationally: “Touch me and see.” What lingering hesitation we might have in preaching and teaching the fullness of his Good News is burned away by the H.S. Are we, are you, am I – like the disciples – living our lives “incredulous for joy”? 

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