Tuesday, 3 July 2012
Thomas' wound: when the Church of Office fails
Gregory the Great's words - "the wound of Thomas' unbelief" - are a potent reminder of how Thomas' failure to believe the apostolic proclamation of the Resurrection is almost on a par with the Petrine denial on the night of the Passion. In both incidents, we dramatically see the failure of what Balthasar terms "the Church of Office".
And yet it is this very fraility of the Church of Office which brings us back to the Crucified and Risen One - "put your finger here and see my hands", "follow me". The weakness and brokeness of the Church of Office demonstrates the reality of grace in the Church's life.
It is this grace-filled weakness and failure of the Church of Office which recalls the whole Church to the Christological centre, to kneel with Thomas before the wounds of the Crucified and Risen One, to be commissioned afresh with Peter to follow in the way of the Cross.
Here, perhaps, is something of the ecclesiological humility that Anglicanism traditionally values. It is not the Church's strength and power which convincingly proclaim the Cross and Resurrection - it is, rather, the Church's very weakness and failure which most dramatically witness to the Christological centre.
(While the classical BCP calendar and a few Anglican provinces celebrate St Thomas the Apostle on 21st December, most Anglicans share the post-Vatican II Roman practice of celebrating him on this day, 3rd July. This was the date of the translation of the relics of the Apostle and Martyr.)
Posted by BC at 15:01