Just a bit from Fr Schmidt – April 9, 2023

Scars of Love

One of the most moving scenes from Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ has to be when Jesus meets His Mother Mary along the Way of the Cross. There’s a flashback to Jesus as a little Boy falling down and Mary running to scoop Him up in her arms as we see Jesus fall beneath the weight of the cross and Mary running to console Him: “I’m here.” As Jesus raises the cross once more and continues on His way, He says to His mother, “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev. 21:5).

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the glory of His Resurrection. Death could not hold Him who is the Author of Life. One apparent oddity in the resurrected Body of Jesus are the holes in His hands and feet, the wound in His side. In the resurrection of life, the just will have every bodily perfection. We usually think of wounds as imperfections, but this was never how Jesus viewed the Cross. He said of His sufferings: “There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!” (Lk. 12:50). And the Letter to the Hebrews tells us, “It was fitting that God… should make the leader of our salvation perfect through suffering.”

The wounds of Christ’s Passion, far from being imperfections, are what made His life and sacrifice complete. Only after what He suffered on the Cross could He finally say, “It is finished,” consummated, completed, perfected (Jn. 19:30). He makes all things new, including the trials, pains, wounds, sufferings of this life. In Christ, our own wounds find new purpose and meaning.

I’ve often wondered—since Jesus bears the scars of the perfection of His Body—what other Saints might have similar features in the resurrection. Maybe John the Baptist and St. Paul will be carrying their own heads around in heaven, since they were beheaded as a martyr/witness to Christ. St. Peter may have the scars of his own crucifixion as trophies of his martyrdom. What about us? Are there sufferings we have endured for Christ, scars that will proclaim our love for Him into all eternity? Or are we still imperfect, incomplete? The holes in the hands, feet, and side of Christ endlessly proclaim His love for you. “His mercies never fail; they are new every morning” (Lam. 3:22-23).

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