When I was a little boy my two older sisters, Paulette and Penny, called me into their room for a very serious conference. They had both decided to go on a diet and wanted me to help them. They asked me to be “in charge” of reminding them of the fact that they were on a diet if I should ever see them venturing towards the refrigerator. Of course they assured me that I would be virtually unemployed since they would attend carefully to this diet. I must admit I was an extraordinarily naïve little tyke so I agreed to the new role. Low and behold the first day of my duty I saw my middle sister Paulette going into the refrigerator. Surely, I thought, this was for a glass of water. Well out comes half a cooked chicken. Always a man of duty, even at the tender age of seven, I ran to her and shouted for her to stop and put the chicken back into the refrigerator. She looked at me funny, whacked me over the head with the chicken (gently so as not to spoil the food) and then disappeared into her room with the bird.
I resigned as the dietary Jiminy Cricket that evening
The readings today each REMIND us of the core truths of our faith – Paul reminds us that Jesus suffered, died and then rose from the dead. Jesus, like any good teacher, reminds the apostles of what he has taught them through word and deed: where the “way” is, how to travel the way, and what to do on the way. We know Thomas as “doubting” but we see him today as forgetting. Finally the Church reminds us of the life and works of two of the apostles, Philip and James.
In both regards Thomas is like us, very much like us.
In reminding Thomas and his disciples (remember Peter needed a rooster to be reminded), Jesus not only teaches but also heals and strengthens each of us as individuals and as a community.
Ironically it is especially during the Easter season that we need to be reminded not to forget. In this season that begins in trauma and ends in triumph we must both heal hurtful memories and reconnect with life giving remembrances.
So let us not forget to remember, the way, the truth and the life and may those memories heal and be healed, guide and give life.
Long after we both had grown up I was visiting my sister Paulette who then lived in Texas. She wanted to show me an exercise video she had bought. The video began with some exercisers about to eat hot dogs smothered in onions, sauerkraut, and lots of ketchup. Suddenly Richard Simmons pops out of some of the sauerkraut and starts shouting “Don’t Do It! Don’t Do It!”
My sister turned to me with a knowing look and said: “Remember?”
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