Why Jesus’ wounds are precious


It happened one day that the devil appeared to St. Teresa of Avila disguised as Christ. Not deceived for a moment, the saint responded quickly by denouncing him in the name of Jesus. However, before leaving, the devil asked St. Teresa how she was able to recognize him. Her answer? “You don’t have wounds; Christ always has wounds.”

In taking on our human nature, God blessed the human process of growth and development, including physical death. More than an end, Jesus’ death ushered in a new beginning, which explains why he chose to retain imprints of the nails in his hands and feet and the wound in his side after rising from the dead.

In his glorified state, Jesus’ wounds were also glorified. No longer the gaping, bleeding wounds that were his as he hung on the cross, they remain a remembrance of the sorrowful passion and death that preceded his resurrection. They remind us not only of the price the Son of God paid to redeem us, but that the road to salvation is paved with suffering.

When people ask why God allows good people to suffer, we need only look at Jesus’ wounds for reassurance and to know that Christ is never absent from our suffering. Even in his glorified state, he retained this most sacred sign of his humanity, a sign that he continues to hold the wounds of the world in his heart.

When Thomas refused to believe that the Master had risen from the dead, Jesus appeared, telling Thomas to place his fingers in the wounds in his hands and side. When Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, the wounds in his hands and feet were visible, even as his wounded heart was burning with love.

Jesus’ wounds are a sign of God’s mercy that flows from his heart to all who repent and return to him. There is no sin that Jesus will not forgive. When Jesus forgave his executioners from the cross, his words were meant for every person because we all are responsible for his death. The unlimited mercy of Jesus was evident when he promised the good thief that he would be in Paradise with him that day.

Still, many hearts remain hardened, foolishly believing that they

can go through life without God. Yet even indifference does not cause God to give up on us. His request to St. Faustina that the Sunday after Easter be designated Divine Mercy Sunday is one more invitation by Jesus to place our trust in him.

With the ravages of war inflicting unbelievable suffering and sorrow on the people in Ukraine, and the threat of nuclear weapons increasing on a daily basis, we seem to have lost our way. Christians are being persecuted for their faith in numbers greater than during the early years of Christianity.

These may seem strange words to write during the Easter season when “Alleluias” remind us that Christ has risen, but without Good Friday, there would be no Easter Sunday. We cannot turn a blind eye to the price that Jesus paid before he rose from the dead.

Jesus’ wounds are a sign of his love. They are precious to him and they should be precious to us, for our world is desperately in need of healing. People suffer and die on Easter Sunday just as they do every day, but not a tear is shed that God does not see. Just as Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus and at the wall overlooking Jerusalem, he suffers with us today so that one day we can rejoice with him.

The “Anima Christi,” a prayer many Catholics say after receiving Eucharist, can be pondered and prayed anytime, any day because by his wounds we are healed. So let us pray:

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.

Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me.

Water from the side of Christ, wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me.

O Good Jesus, hear me. Within your wounds hide me. Permit me not to be separated from you.

From the wicked foe, defend me. At the hour of my death, call me and bid me come to you that with your saints I may praise you forever and ever.


During the Easter Season, we might add: “Alleluia, Jesus lives!”

Barbara Hughes is an author, retreat facilitator and spiritual guide. She lives in Virginia Beach and can be reached at [email protected].

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