Saturday, May 7, 2011


Andrea del Verrocchio's Christ and St. Thomas (1464-1483) at the Orsanmichele of Florence, Italy
John 20:19-29

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’
I love the stories of the apostles like Thomas and Peter, who are so very like the rest of us in their humanity and imperfection, even as it's plain that they love Jesus dearly. Although the images of Thomas and Jesus usually show him reaching to touch Jesus' side, the Gospel story omits mention of the touch.
God's Woman

Peter, Thomas, are you my kin?
I call you, "Brother". Are we alike?
You imperfect ones, a doubter, a denier,
Am I your sister?

"I tell you I do not know him!"
Three times your Lord denied.
Oh, Peter, when you heard the cock crow,
Your salty tears were bitter.

You, Thomas, to touch, to see was all.
"Me believe? When I see the nail marks,
When I put my finger in his side."
"My Lord and my God!"

You, my brothers, deeply, fully human,
You flaw-filled men of God,
You give me strength; you give me courage.
Perhaps I'll be God's woman, after all.

June Butler 4/18/07
Image from Wikipedia.


  1. My, that was a familiar sight. Thanks for letting us visit your city, Mimi.

  2. Paul, I chose that image for you, knowing that you would recognize it.

    You know, even though you've been to Florence more recently than I, it's still my city with my name on it.

  3. We were only tourists. You are most gracious.

    I am sure I have a photo of the Touching of Thomas but not as nice as the professional one you posted. Still have lots to do to recount my travels. You encourage me by still posting from your trip with Cathy and MP.

  4. However long it takes, Paul. I think I'm about done now, 9 months since our journey. What I like about having the posts from my trips is that they're a kind of diary of the travels - a diary that I didn't keep at the time, but at least done before the memories are completely blurred or lost.


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