Friday, April 22, 2011

Glory & Beauty of Christ's Scarred Body

The glorified body of Christ is beautiful with his scars, and thus the lives of his believers can radiate & captivate through their scars & wounds.
In his book of inspirational essays, “Ah, Wilderness! A Journey through Sacred Time” (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2008), which won a National Book Award in 2009, the Cebu writer and Regional Trial Court judge, Simeon Dumdum Jr, talks about the beauty of the Risen Christ who, in the Gospel of John (20:19-23), stands among the fearful disciples who abandoned him, offers them peace, and shows them his wounded hands and side. He writes (pp 122-23):
“This is how the Lord wants us to discern his presence in each other – by our wounds, those that the world considers the marks of defeat. And above all, by our joy, our sense of triumph over our bitterness for the dreadful & unpleasant things that have happened to us…
“Only when we begin to show the wounds on our hands & sides – loss of loved ones, unemployment, drug addiction, failure of relationships, depression – will we start to recognize each other. Because then we will be shedding off our masks & will be most ourselves, unprotected by pride.
“And if, besides, we acknowledge that we need, and ask for, grace to heal our wounds, we might even see in each other the beauty of Christ shining through.”
Christ entrusts believers with the mission to show to one another the beauty & peace of his Father through their wounded & scarred lives in the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, wisdom & discernment. Thus, at proper instances, Christian preachers, teachers & "witnesses," to be more effective or persuasive, have to talk about their personal or deep wounds and how the Spirit of Christ within & around them has healed or is healing them.
Dumdum mentions that, after the pain of the death of a daughter, he yearned “for a faith that had in it something more certain & solid than blind trust.” His reflective essays show the Spirit's response to his yearning: faith that is enlightened, enlightening & enthralling.

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