2017 April 16: The Holes
[Postlude:] Toccata from Organ Symphony No. 5 C.M.Widor (1844-1937)
Amidst all the loud hallelujahs and trumpets that rightfully characterize Easter, there’s a little detail of the story that recaptures my imagination again and again, namely: The Resurrected Christ still has the holes in His hands and feet.
And not only that, He uses them to prove to the disciples that it really is He – “put your fingers in the holes.” In other words, they are now part of His Eternal Identity.
You’d think that if someone can be raised from the dead, that a little minor plastic surgery to ’fix the holes’ in the process would be trivial. Instead, apparently they’re important.
They’re important because they are an essential part of any human triumph over defeat and death. (And sometimes ‘mere’ survival is no small triumph itself.) When we experience our own ’sojourns through the underworld’ — a life threatening illness, the death of a marriage, of a loved one, so many catastrophes to which we are prey in this mortal coil – with grace (and time to heal) we emerge and live to see another day. But it marks us — it changes us. We can’t help but see the world differently. And there will ever be odd-cast days when the old ’war wounds’ ache once again. In other words, in our own way we too have our own ’holes’.
But when you have your own holes, it becomes much easier to identify others who have their own — and identify WITH them: there is a familial recognition between ‘survivors of the underworld’. And one’s own holes can make a tougher, more resilient and comprehensive compassion possible.
So OF COURSE the Resurrected Christ still has the holes in His hands and feet. He must! Not to have them would forever undercut the very purpose of His suffering and death. They forever demonstrate His Identity – He’s the Risen Christ, and simultaneously they show how He identified, and continues to identify with us mere mortals.