22nd/23rd April 2017
Christy Brown, the disabled Dublin writer, died in 1981. One day he saw a picture of the English novelist, Margaret Foster and immediately fell in love with her. So charming was his letter to her they began a warm friendship. Christy was anxious to meet her, however Margaret learned he was severely physically disabled. She was totally against them meeting because she feared that if she met him, her dreams of him would be destroyed.
They eventually met, Christy now a well known writer, Margaret upon seeing him so severely physically disabled, and couldn’t take it, she stopped answering his letters, their friendship petered out.
Christy could only move the toe of his left foot, somehow with this toe he wrote his letters and subsequent books. His greatness lay in the fact that, despite his disability, he still managed to write those letters. But Margaret was unable to see this. All she could see was his twisted body. Unable to take this, she eased him out of her life.
The death of Jesus had a similar affect on the apostles. They had come to believe, or to at least hope, that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah. But they had an idealised picture of the Messiah, picturing him as a great leader and a triumphant conqueror. The idea of a suffering and crucified Messiah was unthinkable to their minds. So when Jesus suffered and died, all their hopes were shattered. Thomas was the worst affected.
But when Thomas touched the wounds of Jesus, the true greatness of Jesus dawned upon him, his doubts vanished, and his faith was re-born. He realised that this was how Jesus had proved his love for them. He didn’t talk about love; he gave an example of it, and had the wounds to prove it.
Many of us probably have an idealised picture of Jesus. If we met the real Jesus, especially the Jesus of the passion, we might not recognise him; we might even not want to know him. And yet, just as the greatness of Christy Brown lay in the fact that in spite of his severe disability, he could write so well, so the greatness of Jesus lay in the fact that, being bruised, beaten, broken in body, he went on loving. It is here that true greatness shines out. So he proved his love for us. And it was in this way that he attained to glory. And in doing so, he shows us the path to go.
With Easter Joy in the Lord.
He is Risen Indeed