Sunday, April 27, 2014


  Perhaps you remember hearing about Stephanie Decker, the woman from Indianapolis who in March of 2012 saved her two little children during a tornado. As the storm ripped through their home, Stephanie covered her kids with a big quilt and protected them with her own body. She was crushed under a cascade of debris. She lost parts of both her legs and suffered a punctured lung. But her eight-year-old son and five-year-old daughter both survived the storm unharmed because Stephanie put her great loving body on top of theirs, sheltering them and absorbing the impact of all that debris. How like Jesus is this loving mother.
  As we try to grasp what Jesus does for us in his passion, death and resurrection, Stephanie’s deed can help us understand. Like Stephanie, Jesus absorbs all the shock and pain- the great tornado of sin throughout history- wars, holocausts, all the evil choices, large and small, all the resistances to God, all the proud refusals that have always been and even now are tragically part of our humanity. Jesus has borne all of it because he cannot bear to have us burdened or trapped by the guilt and regret and the chaos of our sinfulness. 
  He has allowed this immeasurable quantity of ugly debris to fall upon him as he shelters us with his body. But it could not crush him, for he is truly God. Still the crash has not been without effect. Gloriously resurrected, Jesus has nonetheless emerged, like Stephanie, with real wounds that won’t go away. God is forever full of holes, these great marks of his love and compassion and mercy. And so he is not embarrassed by the intimacy of baring these wounds for Thomas, for each of us. He gladly shows us his wounds because they are the radiant sacraments of his compassion. God is wounded by our sins just as we are, but his wounding means transformation and the revelation of the unending availability of his mercy.
   In the passion-gashed Jesus we see ourselves clearly: our utter human fragility joined forever to resurrected divinity. In him we see our reality and our sublime destiny, as individuals, as Church, as monastic community. For he shows us who are and who we are meant to become more and more- wounded healers, never poor victims of our sin and bad choices, never mere hapless victims of our sin-filled histories and misery, never wounded wounders, but wounded shock-absorbers, wounded healers, wounded forgivers like Jesus.