By His Wounds We Are Healed by Fr. Joseph Henchey, CSS with Lisa Fortini-Campbell
The title for this series of reflections is based on the words of the prophet Isaiah [53:5] promising the healing of Israel; words which Peter echoed, referring to Christ, in his first letter, “By his wounds, you were healed.” [1 P 2:21-25].
Peter’s joyful proclamation may harken back to his remorse for having denied the Lord on that fateful Holy Thursday night. But, when Peter confessed his heartfelt love for Christ on meeting him after the Resurrection, the Lord forgave him, lifted him up with His mercy, and gave him the mission for the ages: “Feed my lambs, feed my sheep!” [Jn 21:17]. Peter understood that the gift of God’s super-abundant love and infinite mercy had been poured out for humanity through the open wounds of Christ on Calvary, and so in these reflections we, too, will ponder the love, mercy and forgiveness that flow through the Sacred Wounds of Christ.
Because there will be many reflections to follow, they are organized in three major sub-headings: 1) the Sorrowful Wounds of Christ which he endured on Good Friday, 2) the devotion to these merciful Wounds which has found its expression in a devotion to the Sacred Heart, and more recently in the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and 3) the Glorious Wounds as they are retained in the body of the Risen Lord [cf. Jn 20] and which gave rise to his apostolic mandate that we forgive one another.
We offer these meditations, conducted in the style of a directed retreat, in the hope that they will serve as a spiritual guide throughout the year. We hope they will encourage you to see that the circumstances of everyday life provide us with an opportunity to lift up our hearts in hope in God’s infinite Mercy, made manifest in the healing Sacred Stigmata of the Resurrected Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Episode 3. In this episode, Fr. Henchey continues his explanation of Isaiah’s Suffering Servant concentrating on the message of mercy and hope which infuses his suffering. Given the tremendous suffering of humans throughout history, it is easy for all of us to feel overwhelmed and discouraged. But it is important to remember that the Stigmata of Christ are not only Sorrowful but Glorious and they inspire us to take up our crosses everyday and move forward in the hopes that one day we will all hear from the merciful God, as the thief did, “This day you are with me in paradise!” January 15, 2018.
Episode 2. Fr. Henchey helps us to understand the “wounded one,” the Suffering Servant of Isaiah who is both a model of and a pre-figuration of Christ, by explaining how he is relevant to our own lives. First, he shows that any servant of God is an avid listener to God’s word. Second, that the servant is committed to transmitting God’s Word, especially to the discouraged. And third, that anyone who chooses to serve God must be prepared for an ordeal which will bring with it its own temptations to anxiety and discouragement. But, as always and through every difficulty, hope in the Lord sustains us until we are finally and fully united with Him in Heaven. Monday, January 8, 2018.
Episode 1. Fr. Henchey introduces us to the vast mystery of the healing wounds of Christ with an overview of the many Scriptural references and allusions to the Suffering Servant of God who opens the gates of God’s mercy to all of His people on earth. Throughout this course, Fr. Henchey will draw on Scripture, on Papal documents and on the work of many theologians throughout the centuries who have all tried to help us glimpse the mystery that “by his wounds, we are healed.” (We recommend that you download and print out the Table of Contents (below) to make this episode easier to follow). Monday, January 1, 2018.
Rev. Joseph Charles Henchey, CSS, STD was born in Woburn, Massachusetts, USA, not far from Boston, on June 2, 1930. He entered the Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata on January 6, 1946, and was ordained a Stigmatine Priest in Rome, Italy, on July 1, 1956.
Father Henchey received a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Angelicum, in Rome, in 1973. He served in Rome teaching at the Pontifical University for over 20 years, and also as General Councilor of the Stigmatine Congregation [1970-1976 and 1988-1990]. Following this, he taught several years at Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, CT.
In 1996, the North American Episcopal Conference appointed Father Henchey to the Pontifical North American College in Rome as an Assistant Spiritual Director. Father Henchey held this position until 2002, when he was then appointed to the same position at Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, MA.
In the fall of 2006, he was appointed to Mundelein Seminary, near Chicago, IL, as occupant of the Paluch Chair of Theology.
Lisa Fortini-Campbell, PhD, has served on the faculty of the Medill School of Journalism and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University near Chicago for the last 25 years. Her teaching has focused on motivational psychology and communications theory and she has taught a wide variety of courses to both graduate degree students and executives at the university and in corporate settings around the world.
Lisa is a mid-life convert to the Catholic faith and now that she is retired from her university teaching, she is redirecting her work as an educator to encouraging fellow Christians in their faith. She is a frequent speaker at retreats, conferences and parish missions and has been a long-serving faculty member in the Ongoing Pastoral Formation program sponsored jointly by the Kellogg School of Management and Mundelein Seminary. In 2013, she was invited by the late Cardinal Francis George to address the priests of the Archdiocese on the New Evangelization and also served as a keynote speaker at the 2015 Catechetical Conference of the Archdiocese speaking after Cardinal Blase Cupich. Lisa met Fr. Henchey during her conversion to Catholicism, and he has served as her Spiritual Director since 2009.
Preview of Upcoming Shows: Episode 4. In this reflection, Fr. Henchey explores the meaning of the “Pierced One” of Zech 12:10 ff which we take to be a pre-figurement of Christ, The Lamb of God. He looks particularly at three aspects of this idea of the “Lamb”: the paschal lamb of Exodus whose blood protected the Israelites, the lamb as servant described in Is 53 and lamb as the wounded shepherd and the streams of purification flowing from his side. Zech 13 (Scheduled to air January 22, 2018.)
Episode 5. In this reflection, Fr. Henchey begins a deep study on the precious blood of the lamb beginning with its history in the ancient sacrificial rituals of the Israelites leading up to the blood which saved the people at the first Passover. (Scheduled to air January 29, 2018.)
Episode 6:Fr. Henchey continues his examination of the ancient Hebrew sacrifice rituals which form the backdrop for the promise Christ ultimately fulfilled in his own sacrifice on Calvary. Using the Letter to the Hebrews as his foundation, Fr. Henchey compares the role and importance of the Hebrew great high priest in the ritual sacrifice of Yom Kippur to Christ’s own role as both Priest and Lamb. (Scheduled to air February 5, 2018.)
Episode 7: In this reflection, Fr. Henchey remarks on the way the Letter to the Hebrews summarizes and amplifies the theology and liturgy of the Lamb in the Book of Leviticus. He begins with the importance of blood in the Old Testament, then moves to a discussion of the institution of the Feast of the Passover. He describes how this feast became a mutual covenant in God’s mercy and through that discussion we learn how the limits of expiation in the Old Testament are surpassed as Christ, the Great High Priest, sanctifies the sanctuary with his own Precious Blood. (Scheduled to air February 12, 2018.)
Episode 8:The previous reflection leads directly into this one which draws on Peter’s reference to the Precious Blood in 1 Peter 1:18-25, the first excursus on the saving wounds of Christ in the New Testament. (Scheduled to air February 19, 2018.)
Episode 9:In this reflection, Fr. Henchey delves into several of the critical chapters of the Gospel of John which set the foundation for a deeper understanding of the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary. Specifically, he examines John 1 (the Lamb of God), John 12 (the grain of wheat), John 11 (the unwitting prophesy of the High Priest) and John 10 (the Good Shepherd). This foundation leads to the Gospel of Glory which begins with John 13. (Scheduled to air February 26, 2018.)