“Jesus came and stood among them..and showed them His hands and His side.”
Giving his ‘Urbi Et Orbi’ blessing in the Vatican this morning, our Holy Father Pope Francis reminded us that –
“The witnesses report an important detail: the risen Jesus bears the marks of the Wounds in His hands, feet and side. These Wounds are the everlasting seal of His love for us. All those who experience a painful trial in body or spirit can find refuge in these Wounds and, through them, receive the grace of the hope that does not disappoint.”
These Wounds, this ‘everlasting seal of His love for us’, are a reminder that Easter is not simply one moment in time – rather, it’s power extends throughout all of human history, transforming every moment. This means it transforms every moment of your life and of mine, bathing them in the divine light of heavenly consolation and promising us that He loves us, now and always. It is precisely by these same Wounds that, as Saint Peter reminds us in his first Letter, we are healed.
All of us – every single one – need that divine healing. All of us are frail and damaged and bruised in one way or another during this earthly life – this is the common lot of humanity. And yet Jesus offers us His hope, His grace, His healing and His divine peace ‘which is beyond all human understanding’. He alone can offer this to us. He alone can redeem and sanctify us. He alone can give us salvation. To do this, He must pour Himself out for us upon the Cross – but after this, there comes the bright morning of Easter, which we celebrate today with great joy.
One week today, we will celebrate the feast of Divine Mercy. The Image of Divine Mercy depicts the Risen Jesus, still bearing those Wounds. He is appearing again to His Apostles a week after Easter – and showing Thomas those Wounds, that he might believe. From the Wound in His side there pours out the Blood and Water which ‘came forth immediately’ at the moment His Sacred Heart was pierced by the lance while He was on the Cross. This Water redeems us; this Blood sanctifies us. Yes, by these Wounds we are truly healed.
As the Holy Father commented later –
“Amid the many hardships we are enduring, let us never forget that we have been healed by the Wounds of Christ. In the light of the Risen Lord, our sufferings are now transfigured. Where there was death, now there is life. Where there was mourning, now there is consolation.”
On this Easter Day, no matter the personal wounds we bear within ourselves and which weigh us down in life, let us hide ourselves in those healing Wounds of the Risen Christ; let us take refuge there and remain there always, that in them, we may discover His hope, His grace, His healing and His peace.
I wish all who read this a very blessed Easter.