|The Incredulity of St. Thomas (1601), by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio|
For the next few days, we will reflect on the glorious wounds of the Risen Lord.
“By his holy and glorious wounds may Christ our Lord guard us and keep us. Amen.”This the prayer the priest uses in consecrating the Easter Candle during the Easter Vigil Mass. In the tradition of the Church, there are many rich reflections on the Lord's glorious wounds.
St. Thomas Aquinas (not the St. Thomas pictured above!) gives five reasons why the wounds of Christ persist in the Resurrection (Summa Theologiae III, q. 54, a. 4):
- Because they proclaim the glory and the victory of Christ.
- In order to confirm the disciples in their faith and hope of the Resurrection, and so give them courage to suffer for His name.
- So that He might constantly present them to the Father in heaven supplicating on our behalf.
- To impress upon those whom He has redeemed by His death, how mercifully He came to their aid by placing His wounds before their eyes.
- So that at the Last Judgement it might be apparent to all, even to the damned, how just their condemnation really is, in that they spurned so great a redemption.
Fr. Andrew Hoffer OP wrote a wonderful reflection on this in Homiletics & Pastoral Review last year.