A painting of the risen Christ with Thomas and other apostles by Sebastiano Santi in the Church of the Holy Apostles, Venice. ADAM JAN FIGEL/SHUTTERSTOCK

Spiritual Life

FATHER JOSEPH SUND: Wounds of Jesus’ glorified body reveal his healing power

Our Gospel this Sunday happens immediately after Jesus’ appearance to the disciples on the way to Emmaus.

It is important to note that the disciples of Jesus have been given a specific instruction, that Jesus was going to Galilee, and there they would see him (Mk 16:7). These disciples are far from Galilee, at least 50 miles away. It is clear they knew the directions that Jesus had given, as they had spoken to the women to whom Jesus appeared (Lk 24:22). They are afraid and confused. It is exactly in this place that the Lord in his mercy encounters them.

“Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts?” Jesus asks them. In a manner just like the previous verses, Jesus sits and eats with them and opens the Scriptures for them to understand. Jesus says that in Moses, the prophets and the Psalms, it was told that he must suffer. Jesus may be referring directly to Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 (the Suffering Servant): “My servant, the just one, shall justify many, their iniquity he shall bear” (Is 53:11).

Jesus, who is mercy himself, became man for this exact reason, to meet us in our weakness and raise us up. The Lord asks us many times in our own lives to trust him and follow his will. Yet, often through fear, we can find ourselves wandering in the opposite direction. The Lord’s words to us, even in these places, is the same as his words to the disciples in this week’s Gospel: “Peace be with you!”

That peace is not just a wish or a good feeling. The voice of God spoke, and the world was created. His words of peace are peace itself. He heals us through his own suffering. The glory of his risen body still shows his wounds. It is those glorified wounds that give witness to his glory.

Jesus’ last instruction is that he be “preached to the nations.” The witness of Jesus Christ today is still the glory of his wounds. He has made your wounds his own. Your hurts are his, your sorrows are his, the trauma or hurt of your past is his. When others can see how the grace of the resurrection of the Lord has transformed these wounds in us – that is what preaches his name to the nations!

Father Joseph Sund is associate pastor of St. Patrick Parish in O’Neill, St. Joseph Mission in Amelia, Sacred Heart Parish in Boyd County, St. Boniface Parish in Stuart and St. Joseph Parish in Atkinson.