Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. James Farfaglia

4/16/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (

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? 


By Fr. James Farfaglia

Catholic Online (

4/16/2012 (3 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'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Living Faith

3 Biblical ways to achieve small victories in our Walk with God Watch

Image of Walk with God.


Life struggles are inevitable but to look at them more than just a bump in the road is like putting rocks in your backpack before a hike. God doesn't want that - our journey to Him is meant to shape us in a way He planned for us. Little by little, we achieve victories ... continue reading

Families 'free us from the sea of loneliness and indifference,' Pope Francis says Watch

Image of After recently concluding a series of catechesis on the family as a lead-in to this year's synod gathering, Pope Francis explained that he would start a new catechesis on the

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

Family rescues us from indifference and loneliness and teaches us the essentials of life, Pope Francis said - adding that as the family of God, the Church has the same role and must evaluate how to live this out. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - "Like Saint ... continue reading

Respecting life the Gospel way Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

For the sake of our salvation, we need to pay serious attention, and act with purpose, to what Jesus teaches here in Matthew's Gospel: "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will ... continue reading

Young girl blessed by Pope Francis during visit to U.S. believes the 'miracle has begun' Watch

Image of Julia Bruzzese was blessed by Pope Francis.


12-year-old Julia Bruzzese, who has been experiencing symptoms of Lyme disease, suffered from sudden paralysis that doctors are still unable to explain. However, following a blessing from Pope Francis, the young girl seems to be healing. NEW YORK, NY (Catholic Online) ... continue reading

'God did not create us to live in sorrow or to be alone,' Pope Francis says of marriage Watch

Image of Pope Francis' comments were made during his Oct. 4 Mass marking the official opening of this year's Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family.

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

Pope Francis formally opened the synod of bishops Sunday, telling participants that the union between a man and woman is the foundation of God's plan for the family, and a solution to the many forms of loneliness in today's world. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - ... continue reading

FULL TEXT: Family synod prayer vigil, Pope Francis's full address Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Presiding over a prayer vigil in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis led the beginning of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, at the Vatican. Drawing tens of thousands of the faithful, many were present in the Square since the afternoon for a ... continue reading

Vatican issues statement in regards to monsignor's declaration of homosexuality Watch

Image of


The director of the Holy See press office has issued a statement in response to Vatican official Msgr. Krzysztof Charamsa's declaration in a recent interview that he is homosexual and has a boyfriend. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - Msgr. Charamsa, 43, granted a ... continue reading

Guardian Angels are always by our sides, Pope Francis says Watch

Image of Pope Francis explained that when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, God could have left them to fend for themselves. Instead, as an act of love and mercy, the Lord sent with them an angel to guide and protect them.


Each of us has a Guardian Angel who, acting on behalf of God, advises us and protects us from evil, if we only listen to him, Pope Francis said during his homily at Mass on Friday. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - "May we ask the Lord for the grace of this ... continue reading

Top 5 Bible verses to turn to when you're angry Watch

Image of What does the Bible have to say about anger?

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What makes you angry? Maybe you don't like the way your boss talks to you at work or your spouse spends too much money. What do you do when you feel anger coming on? Who do you turn to? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - When we get angry we can say or do things we ... continue reading

Megachurch Pastor's new book tells people to 'get over themselves' Watch

Image of Pastor Kyle Idleman (YouTube).


Megachurch Pastor Kyle Idleman claims that to live life, "everyone simply needs to get over themselves" to truly "experience abundant life with Jesus," a theory he promotes in his new book The End of Me: Where Real Life in the Upside-Down Ways of Jesus Begins. LOS ... continue reading

All Living Faith News


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, Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2
13 Priests, put on sackcloth and lament! You ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 9:2-3, 6, 16, 8-9
6 the enemy is wiped out -- mere ruins for ever -- ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:15-26
15 But some of them said, 'It is through Beelzebul, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 9th, 2015 Image

Sts. Denis, Rusticus, and Eleutherius
October 9: The first mention we have of these three martyrs who died around ... Read More