*The Following is a transcript of an oral sermon - presented by Fr Matthew to his Parish*
and the showing of the wounds? (The wounds in His hands and in His side). Jesus a few days before that had been crucified and nailed through the wrists and a spear had been thrust through his side, probably into his heart, to confirm that he was dead. He shows his apostles these wounds, in this room where they were hidden away because they were afraid. In their fear he says “Peace be with you” and immediately shows them the wounds.
Our forgiveness brings peace with God and peace within. Our forgiveness is based on those wounds. So, there is this deep connection between this peace that Jesus gives his disciples and the wounds from the cross. We have been permanently reconciled, put back into God's family and can know that calm sense of security that The Father's love brings. That is our peace. That reconciliation, that re adoption back into God's family knowing that fatherhood of God. That peace, that reconciliation is based on the forgiveness of sins and that forgiveness is based on those wounds. As it says again in Isaiah 53, “He was wounded for OUR transgressions”.
These wounds are symbolised in the paschal candles nails. Each of which has a grain of incense hidden within (I know that because I put them there). You see the paschal candle and the five nails, as they are called, to remind us of the wounds of Christ. Now, why did we put a grain of incense into each one of them? Hidden away there, what is the symbolism? Well, incense gives a sweet odour but it also represents prayer as we find in the book of Revelations in the Bible when the incense is offered up in heaven and it represents the prayers of the Saints. Incense stands for a sweetness but it also stands for prayer going up before God. Jesus wounds are the cause for sweetness for us despite the suffering He underwent because He paid the price so that we could be delivered. His suffering in a paradoxical way becomes our sweetness. His wounds are part of the sacrifice that is an offering and an intersession for us. He now lives to appear before God for us. There He is The Slain Lamb alive again His wounds still there before The Father.
We can in a spiritual sense enter into Christ
through His wounds, those openings in His flesh.