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Jacob Boddicker S.J.Apr 4, 2024 12:00:00 AM2 min read

4 April 2024

Thursday in the Octave of Easter

Jesus appears to His friends, and at first they believe He is a ghost. Notice how Jesus puts them at ease: “Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.”

We might recall the touching moment when St. Thomas is encouraged to touch the wounds of Jesus in order to pacify his doubts, and yet we often do not stop to consider the strange fact of the resurrection beyond the strangeness of rising from the dead in the first place.

Our Lord is risen from the dead, but the wounds of His Body remains marred by the wounds of His death. Why is this?

Do not forget the teaching of St. Paul: “He is head of the body, the church,” (Colossians 1:18); “Now you are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it,” (1 Corinthians 12:27), for “…we were all baptized into one body…” (1 Corinthians 12:13). What does St. Paul teach of this body? “If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it,” (1 Corinthians 12:26), and finally, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church…” (Colossians 1:24).

Friends, Christ’s risen body is yet a wounded body, because while He has been raised from the dead, and while His wounds no longer harm nor threaten Him, nevertheless His flesh will not be whole so long as His Mystical Body, the Church—you—are not yet fully healed. You are yet wounded: the wounds He yet bears are your wounds.

That is how you will know it is Him, and not some phantom, nor a deception of the Devil: you will know it is Jesus because you will see the marks of His union with the Bride, the Church, Triumphant, yes, in the saints and living beyond death, yet wounded and suffering in her Militant struggle on earth, still suffering, still approaching and enduring the Cross that she might be conformed all the more to her Spouse who has gone before her. Yet He has not abandoned her; her very Passion lives on in the wounds of His glorified flesh, and if your own woundedness should tempt you to despair of Christ’s love for you or His Church, bear in mind this final word of St. Paul:

“…husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body,” (Ephesians 5:28-30).