Hurting and Wounded

Jesus showed them His hands and His feet. And those hands and those feet have holes. They have wounds. So, when the evangelist said – He showed them His hands and His feet. It was like saying – He showed them His wounds.

Was He the only one wounded? Hindi po. N0, The Lord had wounds in His Hands and His feet but the disciples hiding in fear were also wounded in their souls. Not just physical wounds. Some of them, if not all of them, did not have wounds in their bodies but they were wounded in their souls.

So, this is a meeting of two wounded classes of people. The first is Jesus wounded by the crucifixion and then the second class of people are the disciples, wounded by cowardice, wounded by betrayal, wounded by lying, by denial, wounded by lack of faith, wounded by lack of trust, wounded by their fears.

So, what is the first lesson that we can pick up from the gospel for today? And it is this. All of us are wounded. 

We cannot go through this world, unhurt. We cannot go through this world, unwounded. Because this world is not a beauty pageant where scars are prohibited. Because at the sunset of our lives. God is not going to look for the stars on your shoulder like a general. God is going to look for the scars of your body like a wounded soldier, like Jesus Christ, wounded, killed and risen from the dead.

The very first thing we must remember is that we are all wounded. For some, their wounds can easily be seen. For others, their wounds are hard to find. Because we are hiding them behind our smiles, behind our jokes. We are hiding our wounds behind our travels. We are hiding them behind our wealth. We are hiding amidst so many friends. But deep inside, we know that we are bleeding. We know that we are wounded and it is lonely to bleed alone. That is the first lesson, my dear brothers and sisters. We are all living in a wounded world and we are all wounded citizens in this wounded world.

But not all wounds are the same. Some wounds are caused by sin. And if the wound is caused by sin, that is something you must avoid. Some wounds are caused by foolishness. Some wounds are caused by negligence. Some wounds are caused by abuse. Some wounds are caused by our violation of the commandments of God. But not all sinners are the ones who get wounded because there is also the wound that comes from loving.

The Lord was sinless and yet He was wounded. Where did the wound come from? It was not a wound from sin. It was wound from love.

Not all wounds are the same. Some wounds come from immorality. Some wounds come from a violation of God’s commandments. Some wounds come from our disobedience of God’s will. But some wounds come from loving, from serving. Because you cannot love and not be broken. You can not love and not be wounded. You cannot love and not bleed for others. Because part of loving is in laying down your life for your beloved.

The second lesson is not all wounds are the same. There are wounds from love. There are also wounds from sin. But the good news, my dear brothers and sisters, is all wounds can be beautiful.

How can the wounds from sin become beautiful? By pouring into the wounds of our sinfulness, the fragrance of humility, of repentance, of contrition. Pour to the wounds of your sins, the balm, the medicine of contrition, of repentance, of compunction from sin, of sorrow for sin, of the readiness and willingness to change for the better, and abandon our sinful ways. When you put humility to the wounds of sin, those wounds become beautiful, because they become windows through which grace can enter. But if your wounds came from loving, you do not need repentance. You do not need compunction. You do not need sorrow and a promise to change. What do you need? You need the fertilizer of courage, of greater generosity, of greater persistence not to give up loving.

Mother Theresa used to say – “Give until it hurts.”  But the Lord goes further by saying – “Give until it no longer hurts. Give until it no longer hurts because giving became has so much become a part of you.” Giving is like breathing. Giving is like eating. Giving is like nurturing yourself and you cannot live without giving.

Do not give up giving because you are hurting. When it no longer hurts, it means giving has become so much a part of you. And then the wounds of love become beautiful.

In the life of Santa Teresa de Jesus, the devil appeared to her while at prayer, looking like Jesus. And the devil started to talk to Teresa and after only a few minutes of conversation. Teresa realized that she was not talking to Jesus but to the devil. And Teresa shouted – “You are not my Lord! You are the devil. You are pretending to be like Jesus. Go away! ” And the devil said – That’s true but how did you know? And Teresa said – “Christ has wounds. You have no wounds. You are not Christ.”

Para-phrasing Teresa – You’re a Christian? Where are your wounds? If you have no wounds, you are not a Christian. It is not about the wounds of sin. If sin has wounded you, pour the fragrance, the balm of humility, of sorrow, of honesty, of truthfulness, of compunction for your sin. But if you have not fallen into sin, which is unlikely, you cannot avoid wounds because you always get wounded when you love. So, if you are not wounded, it is not because you are sinless. It because you have not truly loved.

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