Thursday in the Octave of Easter
When the Risen Christ appears to His disciples and they can’t believe it is really Him, he shows ID. “Look at my hands and my feet and see that it is really I.” This is how we identify one another today: by the wounds we have suffered for the sake of the kingdom.
It seems that in monastic life the wounds are often inflicted when we “prefer nothing whatever to Christ.” The thing that was not preferred sometimes leaves a wound. The preference was not made on the basis of morality vs. immorality, but on the basis of love. That’s what the disciples see when they “see that it is really I.”
And sometimes the wounds come from temptations that are resisted…for the sake of the Kingdom. Perhaps it is the times we have not “set someone straight”, but instead “turned the other cheek.” We don’t see the temptations that a brother overcomes, but one’s own experiences should tell us that they happen.
Some bear these wounds more gracefully than others, but the test St. Benedict gives us is perseverance in the monastery until death. The wounds of Christ remind us of Go’s total self-giving. We want to respond to it.
And so today, as we celebrate His resurrection, a central realization emerges for us that emerged for the disciples when they saw the wounded Christ. It is one that always keeps us engaged with our journey to God. The realization is this: God’s generosity will always surpass our own.