“Truth!” said Pilate. “What does that mean?”—John 18:38
The minute the preacher named it, I knew:
Thomas was a hero, not the foil. It took guts
for him to offer his hand to Jesus’ slit
side, to poke his fingers into the nail holes.
And besides, he was the honest one: What
do you mean, you saw him? Logical to ask
his brothers still cowering behind locked
doors. And how come Mary Magdalen
never earns a Sunday solo—her moment
of truth, recognition, in the Easter garden,
her witness buried like the lost coin,
in the mid-week lectionary days after
we celebrate the Resurrection she proclaimed.
In truth, she and Thomas should be our guides:
wail that grief out in some public place,
question, if you doubt, but bloody your hands
in the world’s wounds for Christ’s sake;
do what it takes to find your way.
from Kathleen O’Toole’s This Far: Poems