Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

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Homily 355 – Back Without a Vengeance – Divine Mercy Sunday

April 23rd, 2017, by Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

Wounds of JesusJesus is back! What great news. We all naturally accept the resurrection as the best news the world has ever known, but would it have automatically been this way for the apostles? No doubt there was joy that Jesus was alive; the gospel today tells us so. But I wonder if there wouldn’t have also been some doubt. After all, Jesus is back, but the last time the apostles were with him, well, things went badly. Other than John, everyone fell asleep, failed to pray, and ultimately ran away. Peter denied three times that he even knew Jesus. Think about that. Peter’s last words to Jesus before he died were screaming “I don’t know him!” and cursing as he ran away. What would have been going through Peter’s mind as he saw Jesus for the first time after the resurrection?

Whatever doubt or fear the apostles had was quickly put to rest as Jesus appears and immediately says, “Peace be with you.” Jesus has not come back with a vengeance to condemn the apostles. He doesn’t yell at them or even bring up the events of Thursday night and Friday. He simply says, “Peace be with you.” Now the apostles could rest in the joy of the resurrection without the cloud of doubt. Notice this, however… the wounds of the crucifixion are still there. Why?

Jesus has a glorified body. It’s perfect. So why is there not a complete healing of the wounds? The only reason they are still there is because Jesus deliberately chose to have his wounds visible on his glorified body. I think this is a key insight into how Jesus sees woundedness. He doesn’t try to hide the wounds. He doesn’t pretend like Good Friday never happened. All those terrible things really did happen. Yet, and here’s the key, Easter is more powerful. As bad as Friday was, Easter Sunday is even more powerful. It takes the wounds and overpowers them, turning them into signs of love and not shame. Jesus can do the same with our wounds.

Are you wounded? Sure. We all are. The good news is not that Jesus is going to magically take away our wounds but, rather, that he is going to overpower them with his grace. Our wounds are part of our story, but he’s going to take the Friday and transform it so much through Sunday that we will actually end up calling it “Good” Friday. So don’t be afraid of your wounds. You don’t have to hid in a locked room of shame and weakness. Jesus knows your whole life and all you wounds. He offers you the gift as Divine Mercy as he bursts through your locked doors and says to you today as he said to the apostles, “Peace be with you.”

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