Tuesday, February 16, 2010

We Are Present in His Wounds

While reflecting upon Lent today, and after reading something that cleared it up a bit more on how we become members of the Body of Christ, I realized that WE, or at least our sins, are His wounds. I had to ponder this...

Who wants to be a wound on Christ's Body? That's a horrific thought. But as I pondered, I remember as a child being told that every one of our sins drove the nails in a bit deeper, or hurt Christ a little more as he suffered and died. How, I wondered? I never figured it out, so I just accepted it.

Today, as I had an "aha!" moment, one of those crystal visions on the mountain top, I came to realize that as we receive His Body in Holy Eucharist, our union with Christ makes us part of His actual Body. This is basic catechism, right? To clarify this even further, I visualized all of us meshing with or into Christ's Body. For years I have joked and asked myself, "What body part am I today?" But this visual was clearer than ever and I realized we are all wounded... imperfect images of Christ... And then it hit me: our woundedness - well - they are the wounds themselves. The devastating wounds on Christ's Body, the graphic wounds we saw in the film "The Passion of Christ." My sin can be found in the depths of the slashmarks on His back: "Hey, that's me there! Ouch, oh... I don't want to do this to you, Lord!"

Of course, we are forgiven by His redemptive action. And we are not meant to be the sin, or the wound itself. We are greater than that. But, as I pondered this moreso, it ocurred to me that because the sins I commit cause a sort of death within me, and my soul is cut off from God's very life and grace, my fallen sinful state is the wound on Christ's precious Body. It's a frightening visual for me, but perhaps one that is good and necessary. It really has opened up my eyes to the reality of the sins of all mankind and the pain He experienced on our behalf. Why did Jesus do this? Because His love is so much greater than the pain, the wound and the sin itself. And for us measley mortals, perhaps this was one of the only ways He could effectively communicate this message to us. Moreso, He traded out our very guilt by His sufferings!

Sin causes death, but Christ's physical Body overcame death itself. And so, meshed into Christ's Body, and the more we partake of the Eucharistic feast and grow closer to His divinity, we, too, will overcome sin and death. And we will be enveloped into Christ's resurrected Body, as all of us are made perfect and are made new again.

We must have patience, we who are members or parts of the Body of Christ, and bear the other wounds of those around us, or whose wounding sins are so apparent upon His Body. Bearing the wounds of others is self-sacrificing, and to do so without judgement is so difficult. We must become the slaughtered lamb with Him, silent as we are sheared, humble as He was. For our suffering, joined with Christ's, will help others to function, and to gain life as a part of the Body of Christ. For our suffering and our prayer, in cooperation with God, releases the grace of God.

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