One of the hard things about the death of Christ is that it’s not really clear whose fault it was. Was it the Jewish leaders who sought to suppress a charismatic man who challenged their vision of the Jewish religion? Was it Pontius Pilate who abandoned his duty to administer justice by “washing his hands” of the execution of an innocent man? Was it Adam and Eve who initiated the narrative of fallen man? Was it us?
What we do know is that the Resurrected Christ is the glorified man with holes. The resurrected body bears the wounds inflicted by those who touched him. This includes his co-religionists, his followers, and his friends.
A part of me wants to believe that the Resurrection means an erasure of all of the ways I have wronged and been wronged. But the body of the resurrected Christ preaches something else. It tells of the eternal preservation of our injustices inflicted and suffered. These, too, enter into eternity. But they take on a new narrative significance.
The question for many Catholics (really, all Catholics and Christians) is whether we can become a joyfully wounded people. Does the Church and Her people have the vision and grace to make all things new? Not to erase or remove, but to re-create? Jesus does not try to hide or dismiss his wounds. Rather, he invites others to place their fingers within them, so that they may believe. They will know we are Christians by our love. But they will also know us by our wounds.
What wounds do we try to hide and deny and erase? And do we do these things to the detriment of a resurrected glory? What are the stories we cannot tell or cannot hear? What are the holes we cover over? Do we contemplate our wounds sufficiently to even understand how we are wounded?
Have we been taught, and have we taught ourselves, that the face of the Church must be two faces, one face bruised and broken and breaking, and the other spotless and clean and pure? The resurrected Christ is one Christ. Just as He is one, can we be?
Chris Damian is a writer, speaker, attorney, and business professional living in the Twin Cities. He received his B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and his J.D. and M.A. in Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas. He is the author of “I Desired You: Intellectual Journals on Faith and (Homo)sexuality” (volumes I and II). He is also the co-founder of YArespond, a group of Catholic young adults seeking informed and holistic responses to the clergy abuse crisis. In his free time, he enjoys hosting dinner parties and creative writing workshops.