Keep in Mind…
Six year old Jimmy was always told to come right home
after school. One day, when three o'clock arrived, no Jimmy.
Four o'clock and his mother began to worry. At five o'clock
a neighbor mentioned that he saw Jimmy sitting with a friend
on the steps of a house a couple of blocks from the school.
Now his mother was getting angry.
Finally, Jimmy arrived home.
"Where have you been?"
"You know you were to come straight home."
"But Susie's dog died. She was sitting there crying.
I had to do something."
His mother's anger began to give way to pride as she
asked, "Well, what did you do?"
"I couldn't think of anything. So I just sat down and
cried with her." After his resurrection, Jesus asks his disciples to touch his wounds. He wanted them to embrace his suffering and death. His reason was simple. Touching the pain of another, becoming one with the other's suffering, can bring healing to others and at the same time bring peace to us. There IS a connection between the gift of Christ's peace and touching the wounds of another! In this third week of celebrating Resurrection, the Scriptures are asking us to remember. In our enthusiasm for Easter, we shouldn't forget Good Friday. So the Acts of the Apostles asks us to remember how Jesus was betrayed by the people and abandoned by his friends. John tells us to remember that Jesus freely offered himself for us. And Luke graphically asks us to remember the wounds in Christ's hands and feet -- not out of guilt, but in true Easter joy. In order to celebrate the Resurrection, we cannot ignore Good Friday. How might we touch Christ's wounds so that we do remember? If we are really Resurrection people then little Jimmy’s story can be our story. If we want to celebrate the very roots of our faith, we must learn to so reach into the hurt of another that we become one with that pain--just as Jesus entered our brokenness so completely. By his death he brought reconciliation to our relationship with his Father. He asks us to do the same; we are to preach to all nations the forgiveness of sins; we are to be his healing peace to the world: "You are witnesses of this." We can do this concretely when we touch the hurt of a spouse, embrace it, enter into it so that the other may find peace (especially when we are the cause of that pain). We can touch the anxiety of a friend or family member who feels alienated because of his or her sexual orientation by simple gestures of acceptance. We can touch the physical suffering of others by our willingness to visit the sick and the elderly, bringing a healing that not even medical science could accomplish. We can touch the cycle of poverty experienced by our brothers and sisters in depressed areas of our cities and our world not only through acts of charity but by a determined commitment to address the systemic causes of their plight, even when it strikes very close to home!
Jesus invites us, his Resurrection People, to this Eucharistic table each week so we can remember. He asks us to touch the wounds of Good Friday, to remember -- "Do this in memory of me.” Those words are an invitation to break our bodies, pour out our blood for the sake of the world. Then this Eucharist becomes a sacrament also of our own lives as we give ourselves freely, without reservation so that others may be healed; so that others may enjoy the peace of Christ.
We pause this Sunday to remember that, through that act of self-giving, Christ was glorified. And to the degree that we witness that self-giving in our own lives, we will be gloried. That's what RESURRECTION is all about! That's what we call EASTER JOY!
Keep in mind that Jesus Christ has died for us
and is risen from the dead.
He is our saving Lord.
He is joy for all ages.