April 13, 2023 – Thursday within the Octave of Easter

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What scars do you have in your body? And what scars do you have in your heart? What are the stories behind your scars? We both have physical and emotional scars. The physical scars in our bodies are perhaps because of accidents that happened to us in the past. Or other surgical operations that people went through. On one hand, our emotional scars cannot be seen but hidden within our memories which may be evident in the way we relate with others, or in the way we look at our life and the world, or in the way we express ourselves.

Indeed, every scar would remind us of pain or even of joy. Some scars may become insignificant through time. Other scars especially the big and serious ones may remain bothersome to us even though the pains were gone. The trauma that we have been through in the past could sometimes still shaken us at present or even has shaped us to become who we are today.

Emotional scars compared to the physical ones carry more weight and longer time to reconcile and heal. The stories behind our emotional scars can also sometimes bring back old memories of pain and sadness. Yet, it is also possible that those scars we have, whether physical and emotional, can become signs of victory, of growth, of wonder, of beauty and even of grace.

Such possibility of turning our scars into grace is what has been told to us in today’s Gospel. Jesus appeared before his disciples. He greeted them with peace because their hearts were filled with fear and troubles. The very thought of the death of Jesus brought so much sadness and fear into the hearts of the disciples. Because of this, they could not believe that Jesus is alive and in front of them.

In their disbelief, Jesus invited them, to look at his hands and feet. Jesus said, “touch me and see.” Jesus wanted the disciples to touch and see that indeed he bore the scars from the wounds he endured at his crucifixion. To touch and see the scars of Jesus, those signs of wounds and of his death, means to be able to behold the grace of God.

This tells us that the resurrection of Jesus has made those scars, now, as signs of victory, of wonder and of grace. Those scars remind us that Jesus went through suffering and he knows very much the feeling of being in pain, being humiliated, being abused and being maltreated. Those scars revealed the cruelty of sin and evil, of human hatred and indifference. Yet, beyond those scars also is the grace of God that brings new life and new hope for all.

Thus, as the disciples were invited by Jesus to touch and see the scars in his body, the Lord also calls us to look at our own scars. We do have our own scars. Do not deny or hide in forgetfulness those scars in us. The very scars we have, can become opportunities where God shall bring graces to us. Through our own scars, we shall also find healing and life, transformation and hope.

Hiding in forgetfulness and denying that we are scarred and broken will not help us. These attitudes will only bring us into more fear and sadness. Our heart will remain fearful and troubled like the disciples who were in hiding.

As we allow the Lord to work wonders in us and make his grace be revealed through our own scars, may we also experience today the grace of new life through his resurrection. Hinaut pa.

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