On my travels, I often receive many requests from concerned parents asking me to pray for one or more of their children who have lost faith. Their sadness is tangible and free of anger or resentment. They simply want their child to come home to Jesus.
As children we are handed our faith, and at some point we must make it our own through our ongoing conversion to Christ. That process is at times painful, leaving scars of doubt. Yet the Risen One’s appearance to the disciples, wounds fully on display, proclaims that the resurrected Christ we believe in will always and only be known as Jesus crucified.The Risen One’s appearance to the disciples, wounds fully on display, proclaims that the resurrected Christ we believe in will always and only be known as Jesus crucified. Click To Tweet
Resurrection does not erase suffering, expecting us to believe as children do, uncritically. Rather Christ’s glorified wounds sanctify ours, including those of our struggles with faith.
For those saddened by a loved one’s abandonment of faith, the work of Scripture scholar Sandra Schneiders, IHM, on this passage may be a comfort. Analyzing the Greek, she understands Christ’s words regarding forgiveness to mean that what is retained, or held onto, is not the sin but the person.
Christ, by his own wounds, holds on to those who have lost faith. And we, the body of Christ, by our ongoing care, hold on to them as well. In Christ’s body, no one is lost.
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: Photo by MohammadHosein Mohebbi on Unsplash.
Read more reflections on the Sunday readings here:
- Let us cling to the Vine
- Shepherd to whom?
- You are witnesses
- Resurrection does not erase suffering
- The Lord in their midst