Limps and Scars
Gospel Reflection for the 3rd Sunday of Easter
A big part of my job is to observe people arguing and knowing how and when to interject. My clients get so caught up in details and what they identify as the problem. Spouses want me to fix their partner. Parents want me to fix their children. Individuals want to be fixed ASAP.
Instead of “fixing” them, I invite them to tell me their story. I ask them what they have been arguing about lately. Then, I listen.
Jesus, the Good Counselor, listened to the two apostles walking and talking along the Road to Emmaus. He invited them to tell a story. He then explained how He was a part of it all. He encountered them where they were. Rather than heading toward Jerusalem, the men were heading away from Jerusalem. Their lives and observations weren’t making sense and they were wandering away from the Cross. Jesus pursued them and knew where to find them. He spent time with them.
The Resurrection is a once-in-an-eternity story. Jesus’ crucifixion seemed to be a dead-end (pun intended). God can’t be killed, right? So, what did this say about who Jesus was? No one has ever raised themselves from the dead, so it definitely challenged the disciples of Jesus to keep the faith and make sense of what was to come next.
Jesus surprises us with His presence each day. We just may not recognize Him. There may be a person we encounter or a memory that comes to our mind. He can show up in a variety of different ways, but the most powerful way is through the Eucharist.
At the Eucharistic Feast, Jesus invites us to become one with Him. To be united with Him. He wants to meet us where we are. His Sacred Heart, disguised under the species of bread broken for us, stretches out to touch our brokenness.
As one flesh with the Body of Christ, we all have a role to play and a story to tell. Sometimes that story includes specific healing that is visible to others. Oftentimes, healing is less obvious and occurring in ways we didn’t expect.
In the hit TV series, The Chosen, Jesus works many miracles for people. He heals physical ailments and diseases and yet Little James (both the actor and the character) has a limp due to his cerebral palsy. As he watches Jesus healing others, he begins to question why he isn’t healed from his condition. The actor Jordan Ross recently shared that acting gigs throughout his career wanted him to hide his limp. The director of The Chosen actually embraced his limp and asked Jordan's permission to write his condition into the character's personal narrative. I look forward to seeing how the show continues to walk us through the story of Little James. Jesus will likely not heal the limp but will assuredly shine His glory through it.
We all have a limp of some kind. We all have a wound or scar from the past. We all long for healing, but healing doesn’t always look like what we expect.
One of the most fascinating parts of the Resurrection story for me is that Jesus’ scars are still there. He doesn’t hide them, but rather reaches out to the men on the road saying, “Look at my hands and my feet, that is I myself.”
Jesus’ scars reveal the battle He won on the Cross. He is not ashamed or embarrassed by them. The nail marks in His hands and feet tell a story. They form a bridge that connects others to Him. The one guarantee in life is that we all will suffer. It is through the suffering that God redeems. It is by embracing our raw stories, that we discover how much the Risen Lord knows and loves us.
God doesn’t erase our past. He redeems us. He doesn’t fix our brokenness. He shines through us.
Have you been frustrated with an ailment, heavy burden, or scar? Have you wondered why God hasn’t removed the thorn in your side? Talk to Jesus about it today. Ask how He is using it to bring glory to God.
He meets you right where you are and says, “Peace be with you. Why are you troubled? Why do questions arise in your hearts?” He wants to bring you joy. Do you recognize Him right there with you?
“Ring those cracked bells that still can ring. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
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