Priest: Fr Bill East, 41 Potter Hill,
Pickering, North Yorkshire YO18 8AD
Tel. 01751 472727 -

This Week’s Homily



If anyone tells me that our religion is complicated or difficult to understand, I reply that Jesus could hardly have made it simpler. He demonstrates the resurrection by showing his disciples his hands and his feet. You don’t need a degree in rocket science to recognise a pair of hands and a pair of feet. He shows them that, unlike a ghost, he has flesh and bones. You don’t need a doctorate in anatomy to recognise flesh and bones. He eats a piece of grilled fish. You don’t need to be a masterchef to know that someone is eating grilled fish.

So it is with every proof of the resurrection. It is never a matter of abstract, philosophical argument. It is always something simple and obvious and irrefutable. Thomas doesn’t believe in the resurrection. Jesus doesn’t convince him by offering some argument from Aristotle, or for that matter quoting some text from the Old Testament. He invites him to stick his finger into his wounded side. You can’t argue with a hole in the side. Mary Magdalen is tearful and confused and doubtful. Jesus doesn’t give her a lecture; he calls her by her name, ‘Mary.’ Everybody knows her own name.

And I advise you, if you find yourself in an argument about the Faith, to keep it simple. Don’t try to find clever intellectual reasons for believing in the resurrection of Jesus. Actually it defies all intellect and confounds all reason. It’s impossible for a man to rise from the dead, the idea of an afterlife doesn’t make sense. Nevertheless Jesus rose from the dead, he spoke to his friends, he called them by name, he showed them his wounded hands and feet, he let them put their finger into the hole in his side, he ate and drank with them, he helped them to a great catch of fish, he did things that cannot be explained away as imagination or fancy or mass hysteria. He simply rose from the dead.