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The Audacity of Priesthood

Sermon for St Thomas' Day 2018, at the  Ordination of Priests, St Philip's in the Hills Tucson, AZ.

“Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe”

It can be tempting to run, with these words of the risen Christ to Thomas from today’s Gospel, to a place where the corporeal and material does not matter; only unseen things of the spirit count. In this view, “doubting” Thomas is chided not just as the sceptic but as the materialist, the one with his thoughts - and at Jesus’ prompting, even his hands - in the muck of flesh, when he should have had his mind on higher, invisible, things.

Here this evening we refuse or invert that notion of what Jesus and Thomas are negotiating about the meaning of resurrection faith, by claiming to make these two into priests. This is remarkable to say the least. There would be times not long ago, and places not far away, where objection would be raised to this prospect - just take a look at who our candidates are. Yes they are, we must admit…

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