Voices ever ancient, ever new. Easter 2014, the Second Sunday

“Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” (John 20:27)

Saint Gregory of Nyssa offers the following insight on these verses from today's Gospel:

“Once he had accustomed people to seeing the miracle of resurrection in other bodies, he confirmed his word in his own humanity. You already received a glimpse of that word working in others — those who were about to die, the child who had just ceased to live, the young man at the edge of the grave, the putrefying corpse, all alike restored by one command to life. Now look at him whose hands were pierced with nails, look at him whose side was transfixed with a spear. Pass your fingers through the print of the nails, thrust your hand into the spear wound. You could surely guess how far within your hand would reach by the breadth of the external scar since the wound that gives admission to the hand shows to what depth the iron entered. If he then has been raised, well may we utter the apostle’s exclamation, “How do some say that there is no resurrection of the dead?” Since, then, every prediction of the Lord is shown to be true by the testimony of events — in fact, we not only learned this from his words but also received the proof in his deeds from the very same people who returned to life by resurrection — what other occasion is left for those who do not believe? Let us rather bid farewell to those who pervert our simple faith by “philosophy and vain deceit.” Let us instead hold on to our confession [of the resurrection] in its purity, a confession that we have learned through the gracious words of the prophet, “You shall take away their breath, and they shall fail and turn to dust. You shall then send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth.” (On the Making of Man, 25)

God of everlasting mercy,
Who in the very recurrence of the paschal feast
kindle the faith of the people You have made Your own,
increase, we pray, the grace You have bestowed,
that all may grasp and rightly understand
in what font they have been washed,
by Whose Spirit they have been reborn,
by Whose Blood they have been redeemed.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

The Lord is risen! Alleluia!
He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!