Brief Reflection on the Five Holy Wounds of Christ

Christ, our Lord, nailed to the wood of the Cross, the Alter upon which He offered Himself as both Priest and Victim.

Christ, our Lord, nailed to the wood of the Cross, the Alter upon which He offered Himself as both Priest and Victim.

by Jayson M. Brunelle

Each day, our ministerial priests celebrate, commemorate, and truly make present the perfect redemptive offering of Christ to the Eternal Father in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  Christ’s sublime offering of Himself, as both High Priest and Victim, is renewed in an unbloody fashion each time the Mass is celebrated.  And, it is precisely in and through the holy wounds of Christ that both atonement for sin is made and grace and mercy, so desperately needed by all of humanity in general and each individual in particular, gushes forth.

Certainly, Christ’s entire body was beaten to a bloody pulp, as is so vividly portrayed in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, and as is evidenced by the copious blood stains still detectable on the Shroud of Turin.  It seems as though there was not a single patch of his body that wasn’t bludgeoned, lacerated, beaten, bruised, torn apart or pierced.  And yet, among the countless wounds He received, five piercings stand out: those in hands/wrists, those in his feet, and, above all, the gash in His Sacred Heart – from which blood and water gushed forth after having been pierced by the spear of Longinus.

Is it possible that the holy wounds in His sacred hands – hands that labored at carpentry, thereby sanctifying human labor; hands that touched and healed every sort of malady; hands that turned water into wine; hands that multiplied the loaves and fish that fed and nourished the crowds that gathered ;  hands that drove out demons;  and hands which imparted the blessing of God Himself – is it possible that the Father allowed them to be pierced through and through to atone for the multiplicity of sinful actions committed via the hands of sinful men?

Again, is it possible that the holy wounds in His sacred feet – feet that walked on water; feet that climbed the rugged mountains of Nazareth in order for Him to find a high, isolated and peaceful parcel of His own grand creation in which to pray to His Heavenly Father; feet that were washed and anointed with a contrite woman’s tears and wiped with her hair – is it possible that the Father allowed them to be pierced through and through to atone for the multiplicity of sins committed by men whose feet carry them to unholy, blasphemous and sinful places such as crack dens, houses of prostitution, bars, or the floors of the stock exchange?

Finally, is it possible that the precious wound in His side, which literally pierced and tore open His Sacred Heart – a Heart that was both human and divine; a Heart that beat with incessant love for the Eternal Father; a Heart that was moved by the faith of the many He cured; a Heart consumed by the fire of divine love; a Heart that gushed forth blood and water upon being pierced with a lance, with the Water  symbolizing the Living Waters of Baptism which cleanse the soul of original sin, and the Blood, which is the same Precious Blood He gives us to drink of in the holy Eucharist and which is the price of our salvation and the seal of His new and everlasting covenant with humanity – is it possible that the Father allowed His sacred Heart to be humiliated and literally pierced – torn apart – in order that from this most Sacred Heart, the most important Sacraments of His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church would issue forth, thereby giving life to His newly established Church, the Sacrament of Salvation for all the world, and that this pierced Heart would atone for the anguish experienced by God each time we reject Him and His divine love for us, placing ourselves and our own interests and desires above His? 

Let us, then, from this point onward, pledge to honor His five most Precious Wounds, by which humanity was saved from its cruel slavery to Satan and sin, and pledge to never again sin with our hands, feet, or, most importantly, with our hearts.  For, sin originates in the heart of man.  Let us, instead, place our little, broken and sinful hearts into the deepest recesses of His most divine Heart – the very Heart of God who loves us so much as to allow His Divine Heart to be pierced with a crude, rusty lance.        

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