17 May 2017

The New Thomas


And there was one among the twelve who

was called Thomas, the Doubting, and

when Jesus said, “And whither I go ye

know, and the way ye know”,

he answered, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest;

and how can we know the way?”

and Jesus said to the poor Doubting, “I

am the way, the truth, and the life”.

 

And later when after the resurrection

the apostles saw him again,

poor Thomas was not among them,

Of the resurrection he only heard word.

And they told him, “we have seen the Lord”.

And he answered, “If I do not see the wound of

the nail in his hand with my own eyes,

if I do not press my fingers

into his bleeding chest,

if I cannot touch him,

if my hand cannot feel his seven wounds,

then I do not believe, I do not believe”.

 

And eight days later they sat,all twelve, and

Thomas, the Doubting, among them. And Jesus

walked in through the closed door and spoke:

Peace unto you!”

And he said to Thomas, “give me your finger,

press it against my chest, touch it yourself,

you can see the mark of the nail with your own eyes, I

have brought my hand, give me yours,

dip your yearning hand into my seven wounds,

and be now a believer, be not unbelieving”.

And Thomas spoke: “You have appeared before me,

you are my Lord, my God!”

 

Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed:

blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have

believed.”

Thus Jesus replied.



 

2


 

But I, the new Thomas, I say they who see are blessed.

 

And I am blessed that I see,

that I can say, “risen from the dead!”

 

You have risen from the dead, my nation,

from the grave, my eyes have seen your seven wounds,

and with the mark of the iron nails on your hands

you appeared before me through the closed doors.

Your body stirred among the worms,

you rolled the great stone to the side, and

the Pentecost spirit came among us, and

meaningless words found meaning.

 

For I was the Doubting, the unbeliever:

I believed you were no more, no more than a figment,

and dipping my faithless fingers into your wound,

I know what the resurrection of the body means,

and I cannot speak, I only stammer:

I am Hungarian.

 

And thank you that, before your sacred wound,

the tower of my life crumbled,

and my happy shame overflows within me,

and every doubt I bore, tormented,

and fervid reason,

All invalid, all void.


 

All Souls’ Day. Foreign soldiers

pour over the border.

The conquerors and murderers. I

am Hungarian.

And no longer Doubting. Now sure.

Certainty drives my heartbeat,

and the words not understood have meaning:

you are the way, the truth, and the life.

 

1956


 

Translated by Thomas Cooper






HUNGARIAN REVIEW is published by BL Nonprofit Kft.
It is an affiliate of the bi-monthly journal Magyar Szemle, published since 1991
Publisher: Gyula Kodolányi
Editor-in-Chief: Gyula Kodolányi
Editorial Manager: Ildikó Geiger
Editorial office: Budapest, 1067, Eötvös u. 24., HUNGARY
E-mail: hungarianreview@hungarianreview.com
Online edition: www.hungarianreview.com

Genereal terms and conditions