"We think that healing can come from anger and revenge. Yet the way of revenge is not the way of Jesus."
Today in Myanmar, a country plagued by generations of tribal and ethnic conflicts and 60 years of military rule, Pope Francis gave the secret to finding healing from our wounds. His message applies not only to the long-suffering people of Myanmar, but to all of us, as all of us have been wounded in life in one way or another.
He invites us to “take refuge in Christ’s wounds” and even to “rest in his wounds.”
With this invitation, the Holy Father brings to mind a current of Catholic mysticism: devotion to the wounds of Christ. This devotion finds its Scriptural base in Our Lord’s invitation to the doubting Thomas: “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Here are excerpts from the pope’s homily:
From the cross also comes healing. The temptation is to respond to […] injuries with a worldly wisdom that […] is deeply flawed. We think that healing can come from anger and revenge. Yet the way of revenge is not the way of Jesus. Jesus’ way is radically different. […] On the eve of his passion, Jesus gave himself to his apostles under the signs of bread and wine. In the gift of the Eucharist, we not only recognize, with the eyes of faith, the gift of his body and blood; we also learn how to rest in his wounds, and there to be cleansed of all our sins and foolish ways. By taking refuge in Christ’s wounds, dear brothers and sisters, may you know the healing balm of the Father’s mercy and find the strength to bring it to others, to anoint every hurt and every painful memory. In this way, you will be faithful witnesses of the reconciliation and peace that God wants to reign in every human heart and in every community.