Acts 3:13-15, 17-19 / 1 John 2:1-5A / Luke 24:35-48
Have you ever wondered,
why after Jesus rose from the dead—
why His resurrected gloried body—
why did Jesus still have—
the wounds of the crucifixion?
Why were there still punctures in
his hands and his feet?
Why was there still a
gaping hole in His side?
Why weren’t His wounds
No sign of them at all?
Why not a gloried and resurrected body
that showed no evidence of the violence
done to God?
Well, there must be a reason.
There must be a reason why
Jesus makes a specific point—
A specific point—
of showing His wounds to his disciples in
the post-resurrection scene we just heard.
Now his wounds weren’t dripping with blood—
they were healed—
But they were still there.
Thomas put His fingers and
his hands in Jesus’ wounds.
They were still there—
His wounds were still there.
Well, one reason—no doubt—
was that His wounds helped those who
experienced the resurrected Jesus to believe
that it was really Him.
“Unless I see the mark of
the nails in his hands and
put my finger into the nail marks and
put my hand into his side,
I will not believe.” (St. Thomas, John 20:25)
And no doubt—
His wounds drove home the
point that Jesus’ body was real—
That He was not a ghost—
“Go ahead and feel”—
“Go ahead and feel my wounds.”
But I think they are deeper reasons—
why Jesus’ resurrected and glorified body still
had the wounds of the crucifixion.
Think about this—
one reason that Jesus’ resurrected body still
has the wounds of the crucifixion is
because they remind us—
they remind us that our
salvation was bought with a great—great price.
His wounds are a constant reminder—
a reminder of just how much we are loved.
You know we humans can have a short memory—
especially when it comes to love—
We need reassurance.
And all of us have our specific love language—
all of us have special ways
that we let someone know how much we love them.
Maybe, we like to show our love
with words of affirmation—
“I love you.”
Who gets tired of hearing those words?!?!
Or maybe it’s through acts of service—
let me do this for you—
this is how much I love you.
Or maybe we remind someone of how much
we love them giving them meaningful gifts.
Or maybe we remind our beloved of
how much we love them
by spending quality time with them.
Or by physical touch—
A heartfelt hug—
Well, I think that Jesus’ wounds on
His resurrected glorified Body is one of
His love languages.
A very unique—
A very special—
a very profound language of love.
Just look at my wounds—
That’s how much I love you!!!
Those wounds say so much—
“I love you.”
another reason I think that Jesus’
resurrected and glorified body still
carry the wounds of the Crucifixion—
is that they remind us that
“No disciple is above his teacher,
no slave above his master.” (Matthew 10:24)
A reminder that
“Whoever wishes to come after me must . . .
take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
Pope Francis just released his
third apostolic exhortation.
Rejoice and be glad—
The Call to Holiness in Today’s World.
I’ll be trying to bring out parts of
this papal teaching in the coming weeks.
And in this exhortation—
Pope Francis reminds all Christians—
of the “universal call to Holiness that
the Lord addresses to each of us.”
The Pope writes:
“Holiness [in part] consists in uniting
ourselves to the Lord’s death and
resurrection in a unique and personal way,
constantly dying-rising anew with Him.” (No. 20)
The wounds on Jesus’ glorified and
resurrected body remind us of this.
And this holiness—
this dying and rising and Christ—
this self-sacrificial love of Christ
that we are called to imitate can
come in the very ordinary things in our lives—
and the different situations that we find ourselves in.
The Pope writes:
“We are all called to be holy by living our
lives with love and by bearing witness
in everything we do,
wherever we find ourselves.”
And then Francis gives us a very
concrete example of how this holiness may look.
“A woman goes shopping,
she meets a neighbor and
they begin to speak,
and the gossip starts.
But she says in her heart:
“No, I will not speak badly of anyone”.
This is a step forward in holiness.
Later, at home, one of her children
wants to talk to her about his hopes and dreams,
and even though she is tired,
she sits down and listens with
patience and love.
That is another sacrifice that brings holiness.
Later she experiences some anxiety,
but recalling the love of the Virgin Mary,
she takes her rosary and prays with faith.
Yet another path of holiness.
Later still, she goes out onto the street,
encounters a poor person and stops to
say a kind word to him.
One more step.
One more step in holiness—
One more step in uniting ourselves to
the Lord’s death and resurrection—
one step in making present the Kingdom of God.
It’s those wounds that remind us of that.
The last reason I want to suggest that
Jesus’ wounds are still present
on His resurrected and glorified body
follows from the last point!!!
If our holiness looks like following Jesus—
If no disciple is above his teacher—
If no slave above his master—
If whoever wishes to follow Jesus—
will at times have to take up his cross—
Then our bodies—
Will have wounds too.
There will be wounds because
self-sacrificial love is—
But when we see the glorified and
resurrected body of Jesus—
when we see His wounds still present but healed—
not dripping with blood—
we know that when our bodies are resurrected—
that our wounds will be healed too.
even if holiness at times inflicts some woundedness—
we can still “rejoice and be glad.”
And the fact that our wounds—
Even though healed—
will still be present on our resurrected and glorified body—
is so, so very significant.
These healed yet present wounds of ours—
They are our very unique—
very profound love language to Jesus.
When Our Lord looks at us—
We can say,
Just look at my wounds—
That’s how much I love you!!!”
Those wounds say so much!!!
Holy Spirit 04/14-115/2018