Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. James Farfaglia

4/16/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The wounds of Jesus bring healing and joining our wounds to His transforms our lives

Many call Thomas the doubting Thomas. All of the Apostles doubted.  All of the Apostles ran away and abandoned Jesus.  In reality, he is not the doubting Thomas, but the courageous Thomas.  He is the only apostle who knows where to find Jesus. The empty tomb and the neatly folded burial cloths point to us that Jesus is physically alive.  His crucified body has been transformed.  What lesson is he teaching us by keeping his wounds intact? Where is the risen and wounded Jesus? 

Highlights

By Fr. James Farfaglia

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/16/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Sunday homily, Easter, Father James Farfaglia, Christian hope, Easter joy


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - Did you ever stop to think why Jesus rose from the dead with wounds?  Jesus rose from the dead with a glorified body.  The barriers of time and space no longer apply to him.  The Lord appears and disappears with shocking suddenness.  He continually demonstrates his physical reality.

The Apostles and the disciples see him, hear him and eat with him.  Thomas is told to touch his wounds.  The stone rolled away from the entrance and the carefully folded burial cloths direct our gaze to the physical.  He has truly risen. 

The disbelief and uncertainty evidenced by those who saw him testify to an apparent strangeness in the appearance of the newly risen Christ.  Slowly they came to recognize him, but they still struggled with doubt. We are accustomed to an annual celebration of Easter.

However, for the first disciples of Jesus, resurrection was totally new.  Let us remember, that the son of the widow of Nain, Jairus' daughter and Lazarus were all brought back to life by Jesus, but not one of them continued their lives with a glorified body. 

Although the risen Jesus is the same Jesus that died on Calvary, his physical reality is now different than before.  The body of the risen Lord is indeed his physical body, but he now moves about with a glorified body.  Each of us will have a glorified body also at the resurrection of the dead if we persevere and are faithful.

Over and over again the gospels stress that something extraordinary has occurred.  The Lord is tangible, but he has been transformed.  His life is different from what it once was.  His glorified body transcends the limitations of time and space.  For this reason he can pass through the closed door of the Upper Room. He appears and disappears as he desires. 

At times his disciples cannot recognize him precisely because their physical reality moves within time and space, and the Lord's physical reality is no longer subject to time and space, although he exists within time and space.

The empty tomb and the neatly folded burial cloths point to us that Jesus is physically alive.  His crucified body has been transformed.  What lesson is he teaching us by keeping his wounds intact?

We can answer this question by turning to our own wounds. Deacon Keith Fournier in his book Wounds that Heal * reflects on this theme very beautifully with a rich spirituality characteristic of his writing and preaching.

First, we all experience the large wound caused by Original Sin.  Although we are baptized and Original Sin has been cleansed from our soul, our human nature has been wounded.  Our sinful condition manifests itself in different ways and we struggle with those manifestations of fallen human nature. 

And then there are the other wounds, the wounds that are smaller.  We have wounds that are caused by sickness and the wounds that are caused by problems, adversities, challenges and the disappointments of life.

All of us are wounded.  Even Jesus is wounded.  By retaining the wounds of his passion, the glorified Jesus is showing us that we can find hope and strength by taking our wounds and uniting them to his wounds.

The eleven apostles of today's gospel passage were discouraged and filled with fear.  They had lost all hope.  They did not understand that Jesus had to first die on the cross in order to rise on Easter Sunday.  They did not understand that the risen Jesus would bear his five wounds as an eternal reminder that when our wounds are united to his wounds we will find true peace.

"Peace be with you."  These are the first words of the risen Jesus.  He dispels the darkness of discouragement, despair and fear by showing the eleven his glorified and wounded body.

Thomas places his finger in the wounds of Jesus and he believes.  "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe" (John 20: 27).

Many call Thomas the doubting Thomas. All of the Apostles doubted.  All of the Apostles ran away and abandoned Jesus.  In reality, he is not the doubting Thomas, but the courageous Thomas.  He is the only apostle who knows where to find Jesus.

By touching the wounds of Jesus, he begins to understand that the risen Jesus is not a ghost, but that he is truly real.

By encountering Jesus in his woundedness, he is able to encounter the authentic Jesus, the real Jesus, the whole Jesus.

Because he is able to encounter the Jesus that shed his blood on the cross, he falls to the ground and pronounces a profound act of faith: "My Lord and my God."  Thomas is able to encounter Jesus in all of his humanity and all of his divinity.  He comes to grasp the reality that the risen Jesus is the same Jesus that died on Calvary.

But, where is the risen and wounded Jesus?  Where can we encounter him?  As Jesus hung on the cross, all of his blood flowed from his wounds.  The eternal reminder of his wounds reminds us that we are to experience him in the Eucharist and in the Sacrament of Confession.

By coming to Jesus every day at Mass, for visits and adoration; by encountering the God of mercy through the awesome gift of the sacrament of forgiveness, we can dispel the despair, the discouragement and the fear that may fill our lives.

It is in the Eucharist that we encounter peace because we truly encounter the Lord.  We need to bring our wounds to the risen and wounded Jesus every day in the Eucharist.  It is there, at the tabernacle, that his wounds will heal us.

On this feast of Divine Mercy Sunday, let us remember the words that Blessed John Paul II wrote in his second encyclical letter: "Believing in the crucified Son means 'seeing the Father,' means believing that love is present in the world and that this love is more powerful than any kind of evil in which individuals, humanity, or the world are involved. Believing in this love means believing in mercy. For mercy is an indispensable dimension of love; it is as it were love's second name and, at the same time, the specific manner in which love is revealed and effected vis-a-vis the reality of the evil that is in the world, affecting and besieging man, insinuating itself even into his heart and capable of causing him to perish in Gehenna" (Dives in Misericordia).

-----

Father James Farfaglia is the Pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, TX.  Visit him on the web to learn more about his books, homilies and audio podcasts.

*Wounds that Heal was written by Deacon Fournier way back in 1992, before he was even ordained a deacon. Though out of print, copies can still be found.


---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Living Faith

Pope Francis warns THE DEVIL IS REAL Watch

Image of Pope Francis warns the devil is real and we must defend against his temptations.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis warned Christians that the devil is real and that he is trying to kill us. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis explained in his morning homily, aptly delivered a day before Halloween, that the devil is real and he "is not tossing flowers at ... continue reading


Christians shouldn't badmouth others, Pope warns Watch

Image of People are

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Speaking at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square this week, Pope Francis says that Christians must set a good example lest they drive people away into atheism. "How many times we've heard in our neighborhoods, 'Oh that person over there always goes ... continue reading


'Structural causes' of poverty must be dismantled, Pope tells activists Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a wide-ranging speech to activists, Pope Francis urged the gathered to join the fight against the "structural causes" of poverty and inequality, calling for a "revolutionary" program drawn from the Gospels. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "The poor no ... continue reading


God's existence does not contradict the discoveries of science, Pope Francis says Watch

Image of The pontiff reassured that the Big Bang theory, as well as the theory of evolution do not eliminate the existence of God.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

God remains the one who set all of creation into motion, Pope Francis told the Pontifical Academy of Sciences this week. The pontiff reassured that the Big Bang theory, as well as the theory of evolution do not eliminate the existence of God. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Yesterday's Faith is Not Enough: How We Can Overcome Pride Watch

Image of Monks in prayer

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Jesus continued to do what the Father had sent Him to do, in spite of opposition from apparently religious people. We are invited to follow his example. He will give us the grace to do so, if we ask Him. St Josemaria Escriva used a phrase to refer to the kind of ... continue reading


Christian rapper comes out of the closet --as straight Watch

Image of Jackie Hill-Perry is living testament to the power of God to change those who are willing to accept Him.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christian rapper, Jackie Hill-Perry has come out of the closet --as straight. Hill-Perry says she experienced gender confusion after being sexually abused as a child and sought same-sex relationships until she says God helped her to change for the better. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Every Christian is 'to create unity in the Church,' Pope Francis declares Watch

Image of This creating of unity in the Church, the Pope said, recounting the reading from Saint Paul to the Philippians,

By CNA/EWTN News

In his homily for Mass at the Santa Marta residence on Oct. 24, Pope Francis reflected on the call of Christians to perpetuate unity in the Church by being "living stones" built upon the "cornerstone of Christ." Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - This creating of ... continue reading


Abolish death penalty and life imprisonment, Pope Francis declares Watch

Image of The Vatican recently eliminated life imprisonment from its own penal code, Pope Francis noted.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Calling for the abolition of the death penalty as well as life imprisonment, Pope Francis soundly denounced what he called a "penal populism." The world's prescribed cure for crime - punishment, should never overtake the pursuit for social justice, he says. LOS ... continue reading


Making a Difference - Newly beatified pope championed justice and peace

Image of Pope Paul VI addresses the UN during his 1965 appeal for peace.

By Tony Magliano

With numerous armed conflicts raging in various parts of the world, and the Vietnam War worsening, Pope Paul VI on Oct. 4, 1965 proclaimed before the U.N. General Assembly: "No more war, war never again. It is peace, peace which must guide the destinies of peoples and ... continue reading


'War does not begin in the battlefield. Wars begin in the heart,' Pope Francis says Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Speaking at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis addressed the topic of war. With the majority of the world engaged in some sort of battle, and it's up to the individual to realize that major conflicts begin with little things. LOS ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Philippians 1:1-11
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 111:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! I give thanks to Yahweh with all my ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 14:1-6
1 Now it happened that on a Sabbath day he had gone ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 31st, 2014 Image

St. Wolfgang
October 31: Wolfgang (d. 994) + Bishop and reformer. Born in Swabia, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter