Reframing the Sacred Heart

Well-known contemporary Czech theologian Tomas Halik does this in his meditation entitled ‘Touch these Wounds’. Halik notes how ‘doubting Thomas’ (Jn 20: 24-29) discovers in a new way who Jesus is (my father’s ‘My Lord and my God!’) by touching the post-resurrection wounds of Jesus. This, Halik explains, is part of the profound identification of God and Jesus with those who suffer, the marginalized and peripheral, as outlined in the last judgement scene of the Gospel of Matthew (25: 31-46) where, without knowing it at the time, we are told that we meet Jesus himself in the hungry and thirsty, the stranger, the naked and the prisoner.

Somehow, the suggestion is, this kind of compassion and empathetic ‘being with’ in suffering atones, heals, restores to right relationship. We are invited to discover this for ourselves in going out to meet those on the peripheries of our own lives. Among those we go out to meet are those (and their families) who have been so grievously wounded by the abuse, sexual and otherwise, inflicted by Church members, clerical in particular.

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