Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Touching Christ's Wounds

What an extraordinary scene! Thomas reaches out tentatively, fearfully and touches the Lord’s wounds – the wounds of his love for us that the Risen Jesus will bear forever. 

And touching the Lord’s wounds heals Thomas’ own wounds of doubt and unbelief.  He is enabled to say:  “My Lord and my God” – that is the strongest act of faith in who Jesus is found anywhere in the entire Scriptures.

But this dynamic – touching the Lord’s wounds so our wounds are healed – that is a reality that still abides. For us also touching the Lord’s wounds opens us to deeper faith and love.

But how do we reach out and make contact with His wounds?

We touch the wounds of Jesus when we touch the brokenness of his suffering Body. We are all the Body of Christ, united with him, sharing in the one Holy Spirit. You remember what Jesus said, speaking of those who need our love: “You did it to me.” And on the road to Damascus the Risen Lord asked Paul, who was persecuting Christians: “Why are you persecuting me?”  In this profound mystery of our unity,  in our oneness with the Risen Lord our wounds are the wounds of the Body of Christ.

When we touch with love and compassion the suffering members of Christ’s Body, we are touching the Lord’s wounds now. And when we open our hearts to give in loving compassion, in whatever way, we also are opening ourselves to receive – to receive from the Lord grace and light.

I have seen it happen so often – people who are seeking a deeper relationship with Christ are brought to stronger faith and intimacy with the Lord when they take their eyes off themselves and show love to their wounded brothers and sisters.

We can touch his wounds today, and that gesture of faith and love still brings healing and blessings.