By Emily Cavins

Sign of the Resurrection

 

“See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have.” ~ Luke 24:39

 

Your home most likely still has signs of Easter in it. Perhaps there are eggs in the fridge waiting to become egg salad sandwiches. Maybe there are some chocolate peanut butter candy eggs sitting in a bunny-shaped dish. Lilies still grace the table or adorn the mantle. The joy of the Resurrection bursts forth as the spring sun streams in the window.

However, in today’s gospel reading, we learn of a different sign regarding the Resurrection: the print of nails in Jesus’ hands and feet. He wanted his disciples to know that he was really risen by showing them these marks and encouraging them to touch them. He had a new kind of body, similar to but different from the body that had been crucified.

It must be important that Jesus carries the marks of crucifixion even in this new form of his body. It is a mystery to me the reason why, but I have a small idea of what it could be. I had the great privilege to help write the autobiography of two Holocaust survivors. Shony Braun was a young boy in 1948 when he and his family were taken to Auschwitz. He managed to stay alive throughout many work camps until the day before the end of the War when he and a great number of prisoners were brought to a forest to be shot. He tried his escape but was shot in the neck and left for dead. His near-lifeless body was retrieved by a barracks doctor, and the following day, the Americans liberated the camp. After months of hospitalization, Shony’s health returned. When a doctor told him that he could repair the scar from the bullet wound so no one could notice it, Shony said, “No. I want to remember what happened to me. God saved my life.”

His wife Shari, whom he met in the hospital, had been tattooed by the SS on her forearm with a number. Though she usually covered her arms with long sleeves, she did not want the tattoo removed so she would remember. Both Shari and Shony bore witness on their bodies to something absolutely unimaginable.

Maybe this is why the scars from the crucifixion remain on Jesus’ body. The marks are a witness to the price he paid for our sin. The evidence of redemption is part of Jesus forever.

 

Prayer

Prayer Before a Crucifix

Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus
while before Your face I humbly kneel and,
with burning soul,
pray and beseech You
to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments
of faith, hope, and charity;
true contrition for my sins,
and a firm purpose of amendment.
While I contemplate,
with great love and tender pity,
Your five most precious wounds,
pondering over them within me
and calling to mind the words which David,
Your prophet, said to You, my Jesus:
“They have pierced My hands and My feet,
they have numbered all My bones.”
Amen.

Call to Action

Remember the price that was paid for your redemption by meditating today on the 5 wounds of Jesus. His hands, his feet, and his side.

 

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