Why does the risen Christ, who appears to Thomas in Sunday’s Gospel, appear with His wounds instead of appearing in dazzling robes like the Transfigured Jesus? Jesus of Nazareth as fully human would have been wounded, just like we are, just from living a human life. I expect he spoke from experience when he advised Peter to forgive “seventy times seven.” I expect he drew from the experience of being hurt by the criticism of his own Jewish people when he prayed on the cross, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” And he bore the literal physical wounds from being executed. Some of us also carry big wounds, like abuse or abandonment. But I’ve noticed that the size of wounds does not matter. A huge thing hurts, but so do lesser things — ridicule, insults, diminishing comments from authority figures in our lives. Pain is pain. And another thing I’ve noticed is that wounds do not disappear with the passage of time. Like the Risen Christ, we carry them always. The Divine Mercy icon shows the light of grace streaming from the wounded heart of Christ. Our wounds can also become a source of grace, of spiritual power for us. When we become conscious of them, and learn not to be hooked by our wounds and pushed into reacting badly because of them, we are freed to be more loving and forgiving people. Today’s feast invites us to ask for forgiveness for the ways we have wounded others. But we also pray for grace to understand our own woundedness, so that our wounds may become our own “happy faults” leading us to insight and freedom.
— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia