Experience tells us that when things are going well in our life and we are happy, we are willing to let others get close to us. However, when we are in pain we have a tendency to cut ourselves off from others. No one wants the wounded areas of their life touched. Unfortunately this is a mistake as healing cannot take place if we will not allow our wounds to be seen and touched.
Thomas the Apostle is the person at the center of today’s Gospel account. After the death of Jesus, Thomas went off by himself, so wounded was he over the death of the Master. As a result he was not present when Jesus appeared in the Upper Room in Jerusalem on Easter Sunday evening. Fortunately he was present a week later when the Risen Lord appeared again and it was interesting to see how Jesus treated Thomas.
The first thing Jesus did was to show Thomas his own wounds. Jesus had no need to hide them for they were the ultimate proof of his love. They were the mortal wounds the Good Shepherd suffered in defending his flock. Jesus invited Thomas to touch his wounds.
The reality was, Thomas was the wounded one. Wounded by grief, loneliness, doubt and despair. In his pain he wanted to be alone. His wounds were invisible, but they were real and Jesus was able to see them, and how painful they were for Thomas. Jesus was the one who touched Thomas’ wounds, and made him whole again. It was by touching and being touched that Thomas was healed of all that had wounded him.
For us, it is by showing our wounds, by touching and being touched, that we are healed. The human heart is healed only by the presence of another human being who understands human pain and suffering.
The world today is filled with people like Thomas who have pain and unbelief because of the wounds that they are suffering from. Our Church has members, or former members who are suffering from the wounds of abuse by some bishops and priests. They will not come to believe unless they can touch Jesus’ wounds and see the radiance of his face. This can only happen if Jesus is seen to be alive in his disciples, that being, you and me. Jesus has entrusted to us the mission of bringing his healing power into the lives of others.
May we be sensitive to the wounds of others and be open to allowing the healing power that flows from the now glorious wounds of the Risen Christ to work through us, his anointed ones, sent on mission to the world.
— Fr. Dennis, April 28, 2019