Homilies by Rev. Andrew Collis unless indicated otherwise.
‘The belief of Thomas’
Orthodox icons of Saint Thomas depict him as a beardless youth (young at heart, bold, adventurous). Sometimes he holds in his hands his great confession of Christ as “Saviour and God”. The Slavonic inscription reads, “The Belief of Thomas”.
According to philosopher Richard Kearney, Thomas was also a healer-
The risen Jesus heeds Thomas’ challenge in the Upper Room to remain true to his wounds, to keep his promise of ongoing incarnation as a recurring Christ who returns again and again, every time a stranger gives or receives food …
This repetition of Christ as infinitely returning stranger – in the reversible guise of host/guest – is what Kearney calls anacarnation (from the Greek prefix ana-
Anacarnation is the multiple repeat-
And by this reading, Thomas ceases to be a “servant” and becomes a “friend”, even “mentor”, of Jesus – a doctor-
Thomas, hailed as patron saint of medicine in India, has no time for supersensible erasure or one-
Otherwise, Christian in-
In Christ, as the first letter of John tells us, God became a person “that we can touch with our hands”. To forget this is to forget the message: “I come to bring life and bring it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
The history of Christianity is a story of being in and out of touch with flesh. It is out of touch when it betrays the truth of Word-
The resultant pathologies of sexual repression and abuse, misogyny and repudiation of bodily joy tell their own story. But it is only half the story …
The Good News and Power of God has to do with healing touch.
As we continue to emerge from isolation and apprehension ...
As we embrace our opportunities for ministry and community partnership ...
As we practise and refine the art of healing touch — vulnerability, sensitivity, tact ...
As we allow the world around us to touch and move and change us ...
Praised be holy intimacy, holy friendship, creaturely companionship. Amen.
See Richard Kearney, Touch: Recovering Our Most Vital Sense, CUP, New York, 2021.