I guess by now you know or can guess, I like to read. I was blessed with this gift at very early age. My mother's love was the romance novel. My dad devoured the daily paper. As he was reading the paper he was not aware of anything else. My mother was unable to penetrate that concentration, much to her annoyance, from time to time. I began my reading adventure with a picture book only named "The Beano". I then graduated to “Adventure" and I have not looked back. There were no pictures in that magazine, only all written words. I was hooked, and have been ever sense. Life has been, for me a real great adventure. It was easy then to connect with the statement I read recently, "Our journey in Faith IS also, an adventure”. We can say then, that our faith journey is that which lies above, beneath, beyond, and permeates every step we take on this great adventure we call life. I have read of so many heroes as they made their way through success and failures. The hero was always wounded. The wounding was a very important, if not essential event in the development of the hero. You are the hero of your own story. As it happened to the heroes of old so it will be for us. In that wounding we are transformed, not for our benefit but for those who will be placed in our lives. So, it is with the hero we have come to know, Jesus Christ.
We all know how harshly He was treated. He was beaten, bruised, broken and betrayed, but unlike all the other great heroes, He was killed. Just like all the other heroes when all seemed lost, He returns to His own. When does He return? He returns the moment of their deepest need. When all seemed lost The Historical Jesus returns as The Risen Christ. He as the Risen one is sometimes goes un recognized . Even those who had the deepest relationship with Him, such as Mary, failed to recognize Him. She did, however, come to know Him when He spoke his name. There was those who did accept the fact that HE was risen, then there was Thomas. I disagree with the fact he is called, "Doubting Thomas". There was nothing doubtful about “I will not believe", he is here, "Thomas The Denier". He gives doubting a bad name. Questioning and doubting are an essential part of our faith journey. I really like that definition of faith, it is doubt grounded in Hope. As regards questions. In all questions is ALREADY sewn the answer. The only difficulty with the answer is that it contains the seeds of a new question, and so the process continues. It will NEVER stop, in this life. So the we are a community of Questioners. Living the questions so as to live into the answers. (Nouwen) As we reverence, respect, and develop patience with our own process, so we will have with those who are the same path as we are on, and ever will be.
We read how The Risen uses His wounds to bring Thomas to Faith. Yes, THE risen Christ does carry the wounds of His crucifixion. He still has the wounds in His hands, and side. His sacred wounds become a gift for Thomas. It is the very same with you and I. From our everyday life experience we are wounded. We too are beaten, broken, bruised and betrayed. After all, we are the heroes, of our stories. As it was with the heroes of old, so it is with us. Now we can take it one step further as it was with Jesus Christ, so it is, right now with you and I. We are contemporary Christians heroes. We, too, are asked to share our wounds with those who have questions about life and the value of life. WE are given fellow human beings who are discouraged because of some failure, disappointment and or, loss. We can only be of help when we are able with, sometimes brutal honesty, share our experience of crucifixion, and in most cases crucifixions. We have as Christians an ever deepening journey into That Mystery we have been baptized into, The Paschal.
Because of the work of The Spirit, The Historical Jesus, is now The Christ of God. We, too, at each Mass, and in our prayers surrender all the brokenness, all of the betrayals, all the losses, and all the deaths to the self same Power, the self same Spirit that brought about the Resurrection. Yes!! The very same. We are reminded that suffering of itself has no value. We have to bring all that we suffer to prayer. It is ONLY, and I mean Only, then that our wounds become, Sacred Wounds. As sacred wounds, they now have within them the strength, hope and encouragement, our fellow human beings are so desperately in need of. But, it takes courage to tell, honestly our story. Come to think of it, it is not our story, it is the story of God within us. What faith our God has in us. He, who is Omnipotent, has confined Himself to the limitations of our life. He awaits to be revealed only through our authentic human actions. He is in other words, a Prisoner .
The question begs to be asked, when will I free THE Prisoner, so in the freedom of our human actions the world will continue to be transfigured and transformed. So, too many who have lost hope, just as the early disciples lost hope, will be brought to a RENEWED faith. Their faith will, of necessity be deeper. This faith will be a life giving faith , freed from judgment and condemnation. From the apparent, seeming, death new life has sprung. "By The Lord this has been done , and it is marvelous in our eyes." We can then proclaim from the depths of our nothingness, and emptiness, Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ comes again and again within the everyday adventure, we call life. That is why; life is not a problem to be solved, it is a mystery to be lived. So now, when somebody says to you, “I do not understand you”, just say, “I know that, so just reverence me, my questions and wounds, no matter how deep they are”. See and be utterly amazed at what is revealed to you.