The Six Holy Wounds of Christ

In accordance with our Roman Catholic tradition we venerate the Five Holy Wounds of Christ. Again traditionally these are as follows: #1, The Wound in His Side. #2, The Wound in His Right Hand. #3, The Wound in His Left Hand. #4, The Wound in His Right Foot. #5, The Wound in His Left Foot. This devotion is very old and serves us well in meditating on what Jesus suffered for us. Of course we know that given His lashing at the post, His crowning with thorns, and all the rest there were very many more wounds than just five. But this devotion stands as it is and it stands worthily. Still, I have another take, a personal way of looking at His wounds and I share them here.

In reference to the Bible there is whats called “Biblical Numerology”. Now this has nothing to do with fortune-telling and is in no way related to modern numerology. This type of numerology, Biblical Numerology, is simply this: Certain numbers relate to certain things, ideas, concepts, truths. A good example is the number 7. In the Old Testament the number 7 is God’s number. It refers to perfection, to flawlessness. When applied to subjects other than God it refers to perfection in the sense that the thing is complete. Complete and flawless are two different things. A jig-saw puzzle is complete if all the pieces are there, complete when properly put together. But if someone sets a cup of coffee on it leaving a stain or coffee ring, well, it isn’t flawless. That’s a simple illustration to explain the meaning(s) of 7.

Another significant number is 6. It’s man’s number. It’s man’s number because we fall short of perfection, short of 7. Satan told Eve that we could be like gods. He lied. Try as hard as we might, with all good intentions, we will never approach the perfection that is God’s flawlessness. The best we’ll ever be able to hope for is to be made complete in Him. So 6 is our number.

Jesus became one of us. He became a man. He set aside His divine rights, His position, and took upon Himself human nature. For our sake, even though He was a perfect man in all respects, He became a 6. See Isaiah 53:4 and Philippians 2:7. And so, with all due respect for our wonderful Catholic traditions, and in respect for and out of respect for the humanity of Christ, I offer the following …

The Six Holy Wounds of Christ

#1: The Wounds from the Crown of Thorns. ~ Think about the thorns, the pain they caused. Think of the cruelty inflicted upon Him as the Crown of Thorns was pushed forcibly down with the intent of causing pain. And humiliation. A “crown” for a “king”. Mary of Agreda was told by the Most Blessed Mary that one actually punctured His skull. And for what crime? What did He ever think of, with His purity of thought and intention, that would make Him deserving of this treatment? And where has my mind strayed? What do I deserve given my thought life?

#2: The Shoulder Wound. ~ St. Bernard of Clairvaux was told by Jesus of a terrible wound on His shoulder. He suffered much as He carried His Cross because of it. He carried that Cross for me and suffered the pain of that wound for love of me. How often do I run, shoulders stooped in fear, from a cross sent by Him for love of me?

#3: The Wounds of the Scourging. ~ They whipped Him. According to Jewish law you could only give a criminal 40 blows with the whip. More than that was deemed cruel. They delivered 39 just in case they miscounted. But it wasn’t a fellow Jew delivering these blows. The Romans did it and they had no law limiting the severity of the whipping. He turned His back on His rights as the Son of God in order to take my whipping for me. The one I deserved and He didn’t. How many times have I turned my back on Him?

#4: The Wounds in is Hands. ~ Those hands that touched and cured lepers. That blessed the little children. The very hands that blessed and broke the bread at that last Passover. The hands that lift up that one lost little sheep and carry it lovingly back to the fold while holding it close to His breast. These hands they drove spikes through. He did all that good with those hands. What have I used mine for?

#5: The Wound in His Side. ~ He had just died and yet that wasn’t enough. A spear, thrust into His side, tore open a Heart already broken for … me. And my heart? How hard and unbreakable has it been towards Him, towards others?

#6: The Wounds in His Feet. ~ The feet that walked the shore of Galilee as He taught those hungry for the truth. The feet that carried Him to the ruler of the synagogues house to raise a dear, dead child. The feet that walked on water. Feet washed by the tears of a sinner. These feet, going in all the right directions for all the right reasons for love of His Father and for love of me. Think of the treatment they received. Where have my feet carried me? Have I followed Him for love of Him or have I walked after the ways of the world?

His wounds are to many for me to number. His love and His grace, His mercy and His truth, and the daily, minute by minute, manifestations of these are even more numerous and go ever farther.

Published in: on June 30, 2012 at 1:36 pm  Comments Off on The Six Holy Wounds of Christ  
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