The Wounded Christ

It is comparatively easy to see the wounded Christ in someone who is suffering blamelessly β€” the child who has just lost both parents in a car crash, the elderly person slapped across the face by a so-called carer, someone with an incurable disease. But what about seeing him in the convicted paedophile, the murderer, the political extremist? How many of us look at Kim Jong-un, for example, and see anything other than a hideous travesty of a human being?

I was thinking about this in connection with the opening words of RB 72, On Good Zeal, which we read today: ‘Just as there is an evil zeal of bitterness which separates from God and leads to hell . . . ‘ We tend to be rather keen on vicarious victimisation, unleashing our anger and contempt on those we feel we can safely condemn for their brutality or wickedness. We are indeed zealous in our fury. But, somehow, that doesn’t quite fit with what is expected of anyone who claims to be a disciple of Christ. We are called to see him in everyone, not just those who excite our compassion or admiration. That doesn’t mean giving way to a kind of wishy-washy moral flabbiness that refuses to uphold anything because it is incapable of doing so; it means something much more difficult. It means really looking, really listening and being prepared to be thought a fool because one does not follow the crowd. In the end, it means cultivating good zeal, and as the verb ‘cultivate’ indicates, that is impossible without prayer and effort in equal measure.

To sum up. The wounded Christ is everywhere, in you and me and all around. Let us try to be alert to him today.


6 thoughts on “The Wounded Christ”

  1. Brilliantly said, absolutely no moral wishy-washy flabbiness, but remembering why Christ died, it was for the Kim Jong-un’s of this life as well as ourselves. I do not believe our social ills are a because of inequality but because of a lack of love, which breeds all sorts of horrible things. If we look for equality we can find it in sin, for we have all sinned; I know I have.

  2. Hm. Try as I might this morning I can’t quite understand what you are saying. I don’t want to be presumptions in assuming I know what you said today either.

    The fault is probably mine, I am not great in the morning till medication takes hold, if it does at all.

    When I was a Protestant clergyman I spent long years working with convicted paedophiles (and murderers)I heard things that still haunt me, I gained insights I would rather not have as to the way their minds work.

    I knew that Christ died for them, loved them and I was there to represent Christ.

    Perhaps as a new catholic I am confused by tbe language?

    I am trying to articulate my thoughts – I think I have probably failed. I know you are tired and unwell and I beg of you not to reply to this …. πŸ™‚

    As always at each of the hours I prayer for you and for Dame Lucy.

  3. A very challenging piece. Lord give us the grace to embrace the enemy, the abuser, the criminal and those who have shown us ill-will in the past. We cannot presume that they do not also carry Christ’s wounds from being a victim in a former life.

  4. I find the phrase ‘an evil zeal of bitterness’ quite chilling,but realise that it actually describes some people perfectly well : It also describes my own nature from time to time.I do however believe in the transforming power of the gospel and that no person, no tyrant,no poedophile ; Is beyond the saving arms of Christ.Im grateful that he was wounded for my transgressions and live in faith and hope that he will transform others too. I agree it is difficult to see Christ in some people.we need to be zealous in love and prayer.

  5. Still wish you had a “Like” button for some of your posts. πŸ™‚ And for someof the comments. It IS so much harder to remember that Christ died for ALL. He asks the Father, in the middle of his pain and suffering to forgive them because he knows they didn’t understand what they were doing. How sad it is for people who don’t understand Christ and God. Their lives are filled with pain and suffering in a way that is deeper than physical.

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