Our Wounds Rest on the Body of Christ
Lately I've been thinking about the crucifix of St. Thomas Aquinas. The ancient crucifix is located in Orvieto, Italy, the Umbrian village where St. Thomas taught and wrote the Summa Contra Gentiles.
As he was finishing this most important work, he prayed to Jesus before the Crucifix located in a side altar of the Domenican basilica. He wasn't confident that his work was worth of the Lord, so he was surrendering his soul and his words into the complete care of Christ. In a mystical vision he heard Jesus, through the Crucifix, speak mercifully and lovingly to him, saying: "You have written well of me, Thomas."
St. Thomas Aquinas felt refreshed in soul, strengthened to continue to do God's work in the world, to be Jesus' scribe (and to go on and write his more well-know tome, the Summa Theologiae).
When I visited Orvieto so many years ago, the first place I went was the Dominican basilica. I longed to pray in the very place St. Thomas had prayed, before the same Crucifix that had so lovingly spoken to him.
The Crucifix didn't at all look as I'd imagined. It has wounds all over the entire body of Christ—not only those described in the Bible, on His precious back and shoulders, head and hands and feet—but everywhere. I was puzzled.
Although my photo shows only His torso, these wounds are all over the Body of Christ, across His arms and legs and everywhere else.
Now, as I meditate on this image, I see my wounds, your wounds, all our wounds. Each and every wound all over the entire body of Christ represent our sufferings, our traumas, our hurts—which, if we let Him, He takes upon His very self, bearing our burden so that our yoke can become light. Through Him, we are made new!
Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? Behold, I make all things new!
We know that in everything God works for good with those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.
(Isa. 43:18-19, Rev. 21:5, Rom. 8:28)
Thanks for reading The Prodigal Parishioner! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.