Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. James Farfaglia

4/5/2010 (6 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Easter fills us with hope

What lesson is the Lord teaching us by keeping his wounds intact? Perhaps we can better answer this question by turning to our own wounds. All of us are wounded. By retaining the wounds of his passion in His Resurrected Body, the glorified Jesus is showing us that we can find hope and strength by taking our wounds and uniting them to his wounds.

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?

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?

Highlights

By Fr. James Farfaglia

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/5/2010 (6 years ago)

Published in Lent / Easter


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. I never asked myself this question until a number of years ago when I read Deacon Keith Fournier's excellent book Wounds that Heal which really inspired me.

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, and appear and disappear 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.  What are our wounds?  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, let us remember the words that 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 Saint Helena of the True Cross of Jesus Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, Texas.  Father has a hard hitting blog calledIllegitimi non carborundum.  He has also published a book called Man to Man: A Real Priest Speaks to Real Men about Marriage, Sexuality and Family Life.  He is a contributing writer to Catholic Online.

---


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


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for SEPTEMBER 2016
Universal:
Centrality of the Human Person: That each may contribute to the common good and to the building of a society that places the human person at the center.
Evangelization: Mission to Evangelize: That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelize.



Comments


More Lent / Easter

Did you know the Catholic Church has a birthday? Watch

Image of Pentecost is widely considered the birthday of the Catholic Church.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Happy birthday to the Catholic Church! Happy birthday to you, who are the body of the Church! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - We're all familiar with our own birthdays, and we celebrate them because they mark the day of the year in which we entered into this life. ... continue reading


8 thought-provoking Easter quotes to inspire Watch

Image of Easter is more than eggs and bunnies.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

We all love to celebrate Easter with brightly colored hard boiled eggs, candy, cute pictures of bunnies and chicks and we all love to gather together to party! Regardless of how you celebrate Easter, don't forget the real reason for the holiday. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


The surprising origins of the Easter Bunny -- it's not what you think! Watch

Image of Rejoice! The beloved Easter Bunny has very Christian origins.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Easter Bunny is a symbol of Easter that is popular in western culture, especially with children. According to folklore, the Easter Bunny hides Easter eggs for children to find on Easter morning. However, the association between a rabbit and the resurrection of ... continue reading


'The Easter message of the risen Christ': Listen to Pope Francis' Easter Mass Watch

Image of Pope Francis celebrated the Easter Mass and focused on Christ and refugees (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

On Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016, Pope Francis stood before pilgrims gathered at St. Peter's Square for the traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Vatican Radio, the pontiff stood before the packed square to speak of Jesus ... continue reading


Missing The Point of Easter Watch

Image of Alex Basile [not pictured] is the Religion Department chair at Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, NY. He has written nine books for Saint Pauls/Alba House. www.alexbasile.net

By Alex Basile

Author Alex Basile reflects of the true meaning of the Resurrection of Christ and how many Christians overlook the real joy of Easter. In the haziness of the first Easter morning, Mary Magdalene made her way to tomb of her friend and teacher. Fighting back tears and ... continue reading


He Has Truly Risen, We Are Free From Fear Watch

Image of The Tomb is empty!

By Fr. James Farfaglia

With the resurrection of Jesus, the physical is exalted.  When we truly believe in Jesus, we are resurrected in this life because we are freed from the fear and worry that are characteristic of a godless life; we are freed from the unhappiness of a life filled ... continue reading


HOLY SATURDAY: The Whole Earth Keeps Silence Watch

Image of The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all ... continue reading


Holy Saturday: 'Make Sure He's Dead' Watch

Image of God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear

By Fr. Randy Sly

Just as the Chief Priests and Pharisees gathered with Pilate to plan on keeping the tomb sealed and guarded with Christ inside, many today want to place a stone in the entrance of the Church, to keep him inside again. On Holy Saturday we remember that no matter how ... continue reading


Good Friday Reflection on the Logic of the Cross Watch

Image of Benedict says,

By Michael Terheyden

Pope Francis said something during his first general audience that inspired me to reflect on the suffering Jesus endured during his Passion for the sake of our redemption. He said, "Living Holy Week means increasingly entering into God's logic, the logic of the Cross. ... continue reading


Good Friday: The Church Born From the Wounded Side of Christ Pauses at the Cross Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Christ has flooded the universe with divine and sanctifying waves. For the thirsty, he sends a spring of living water from the wound, which the spear opened in His Side. From the wound in Christ's side has come forth the Church, and He has made her His Bride. ... continue reading


All Lent / Easter News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Amos 6:1, 4-7
1 Disaster for those so comfortable in Zion and for those so confident on ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 146:7, 8-9, 9-10
7 gives justice to the oppressed, gives food to the hungry; Yahweh sets ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 16:19-31
19 'There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and ... Read More

Reading 2, First Timothy 6:11-16
11 But, as someone dedicated to God, avoid all that. You must aim to be ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 25th, 2016 Image

St. Finbar
September 25: He was the son of an artisan and a lady of the ... Read More