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? 

Article 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 calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More Living Faith

BREAKING THE RULES or IS HE? Pope Francis washes women's feet and those of undetermined religion Watch

Image of This year, Francis arrived at a center for the disabled and elderly in Rome. Francis kneeled down, washed, dried and kissed the feet of a dozen people, some in wheelchairs, other with grossly swollen and disfigured feet.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has shown little regard for rules in regards to his papacy. The latest controversy now surrounds his washing the feet of 12 disabled and elderly people, some of who were women and non-Catholics. The pre-Easter ritual, Pope Francis is designed to show ... continue reading


'Priestly joy is a priceless treasure,' Pope Francis says Watch

Image of The pope, presiding over the first of two Holy Thursday liturgies, blessed the oils that will be used in the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, ordination and the anointing of the sick.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If a priest wants to overcome moments of sadness, exhaustion and boredom, in addition to discovering his true identity, he must head for the exit sign, going outside himself to be with God and his people, Pope Francis said during the Chrism Mass at St. Peter's ... continue reading


Who's ready for the most historic canonization in modern history?

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Are you ready for the canonization of Pope John Paul II? Vatican officials are busy preparing for the historic canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII. As they prepare, it's time for use to get ready as well. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - on April 27, a ... continue reading


Pope Francis encourages people to kiss crucifix and recite simple prayer Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is encouraging people this holy week to pick up a crucifix, kiss it and recite the simple prayer: "Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Lord." He wishes to remind others that Christ's passion "isn't the happy ending of a beautiful fairytale, it isn't the ... continue reading


Pope Francis distributes Bibles, asks Catholics to perform acts of charity

Image of Bibles were handed out to all visitors regardless of their religious affiliation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has given out tens of thousands of Bibles to people that he hopes they will keep and use daily. The gifts were distributed in St. Peter's Square following Mass. The gifts came with one string attached however, Pope Francis asked all people to perform an ... continue reading


Pope Francis' Wild Ride - Pope takes happy kids for a spin through St. Peter's Square Watch

Image of Pope Francis kisses Livio Bastianelli and Davide Maria goodbye after their lucky ride.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis gave to kids the ride of a lifetime by inviting them for a spin in the Popemobile around St. Peter's Square. The gesture continues to cement Pope Francis as a man of the people who is most comfortable with the throngs of faithful who seek his wisdom and ... continue reading


Seminary is not for those who do not wish to 'get on with life,' Pope admonishes Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In addressing the Pontifical Leonine College of Anagni, the Pope did not mince words. Pope Francis was forthright in saying that the seminary is not a refuge for those who have "psychological problems" or lack the courage "to get on in life." LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Pope Francis apologizes for abuse scandal, says Church deserves to pay Watch

Image of Pope Francis embraces a child in St. Peter's Square.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has made his strongest statement yet about the scandal of child abuse in the Catholic Church. Pope Francis made clear that victims of abuse deserved an apology as well as compensation for what they have suffered.  He reaffirmed that the Church will be ... continue reading


Pope Francis makes special plea, but is asking us - Are you listening? Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis continues to call for aid to the poor as the holiday season ends. The Holy Father has set a goal to eradicate global hunger by distributing food more equitably around the world and he has called on all faithful Catholics to help. It's a call that can't be ... continue reading


'The Devil is here, even in the 21st century,' Pope Francis warns Watch

Image of Life is a constant battle against evil due to the presence of the devil, Pope Francis said, admitting that even he

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The devil is very much alive in the 21st Century, Pope Francis warns, and he often takes the form of gossip. The pope confessed that he himself was tempted to gossip, and the faithful need to stay on their toes. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Speaking in the ... 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, Acts 10:34, 37-43
34 Then Peter addressed them, 'I now really ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh for he is good, for ... Read More

Gospel, John 20:1-9
1 It was very early on the first day of the week and ... Read More

Reading 2, Colossians 3:1-4
1 Since you have been raised up to be with Christ, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 20th, 2014 Image

St. Marian
April 20: When St. Mamertinus was Abbot of the monastery which St. ... 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