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 25: Fr. Henchey begins an excursus on the three theological dimensions great mystery of the open side of Christ: Jesus’ filial obedience to the Father, his complete abandonment to the will of the Father and his constitutional filiation with the Father. In this reflection, Fr. Henchey explores the first of these three dimensions, examining it Biblically as well as through the eyes of ancient and modern theologians. June 18, 2018.
Episode 24: In this episode, Fr. Henchey develops the idea of Christ as the perfect sacrifice, once and for all. He is the perfect priest and the perfect victim, granting us the gift of eternal life. Again, he compares the torn temple veil to the opening of the side of Christ, giving us the gateway to his Sacred Heart. June 11, 2018.
Episode 23: Here, Fr. Henchey gives us more on Heb 9:1-14 comparing the old law and the new, the old liturgy and the new, and the old sanctuary and the new. June 4, 2018.
Episode 22: Fr. Henchey takes up a more thorough description of what we know of the ancient temple of the Hebrews, comparing descriptions of the temple from Exodus, Leviticus and the Letter to the Hebrews. Descriptions of the temple are full of symbolic meaning from its location to the various parts which compose it. All of it is meant to prepare us for the New Temple which is the Body of Christ. May 28, 2018.
Episode 21: Fr. Henchey goes more deeply into the opening of the side of Christ mentioned in John and more fully developed in the Letter to the Hebrews. He focuses on the image of Christ as an anchor of hope thrown up into the heavens in (Heb 6:19-20) and he explores the symbolism of Christ drawing all to himself up into the celestial sanctuary. He highlights the spiritual direction these passages give us as they encourage each of us to put on the mind of Christ and follow him into the very same sanctuary. May 21, 2018.
Episode 20: Because of the importance of the Letter to the Hebrews to our understanding of the connection between the tearing of the temple veil and the opening of the side of Christ, Fr. Henchey looks specifically at Hebrews 6:19-20, 9:2ff and 10. He concludes with the image from Hebrews of Christ as an anchor thrown up into the heavens drawing all things to himself. May 14, 2018.
Episode 19: Following up on the previous reflection, Fr. Henchey delves more deeply into both the Letter to the Hebrews and the Gospel of John and their common references to the pierced side. But, it is Hebrews which helps us to realize that the torn temple veil is the pierced side and the gateway through which Jesus passed from the sanctuary of earthy life and into the eternal one. He shows how Hebrews develops the psychology of the great high priest who rose up to celebrate forever in the celestial sanctuary. May 7, 2018.
Episode 18: In this reflection, Fr. Henchey shows how the torn temple veil in the three synoptic Gospels gives way to the torn body of Christ in the Gospel of John. He further compares the Gospels to the Letter to the Hebrews which has the most developed theology and spirituality of the torn side of Christ, only briefly mentioned in John. He uses this to remind us that while Mark emphasizes Christology and Matthew emphasizes the Church, while Luke emphasizes prayer and John the Incarnate Word, it is Hebrews which helps us understand Christ as the great high priest of mercy. April 30, 2018.
Episode 17: Fr. Henchey finishes his discussion of the Biblical darkness that preceded the tearing of the temple veil and begins a multi-part exploration of the meaning of this great mystery. For context, he uses the descriptions of the temple and its veil by the historian, Josephus, and compares them to the Biblical descriptions found in Mark, Luke, Matthew, and Sirach. April 23, 2018.
Episode 16: Fr. Henchey continues his discussion on darkness by comparing the description of darkness in Wisdom 17 with the darkness illuminated by the pillar of fire in Exodus 10:21-29. Further, he looks at Wisdom 17 from the perspective of the prophetic “Day of the Lord” described in Amos and Joel. Yet, as we see in Peter’s inaugural address after Pentecost in Acts 2:14-21, which also refers to darkness, those powers will not prevail. April 16, 2018.
Episode 15: In this reflection, Fr. Henchey begins a new segment in the series with an excurses on the Biblical darkness which fell on good Friday. He starts by tracing the many references to darkness throughout the Old Testament which teach us that while physical light may be absent in the dark of night, God’s love is not. Thus, we must always live in hope. It is hope that will carry us from the darkness of Good Friday into the light-filled glory of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. April 9, 2018.
Episode 14: Fr. Henchey considers the birth of the Church in its four “marks;” that is, One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic and ponders them in light of the open side of Christ. Then he opens a new direction in this series which will explore the rich ambivalence of Biblical “darkness” (of Holy Saturday) beginning with the “darkness” of Job. April 2, 2018.
Episode 13: In this episode, Fr. Henchey continues a discussion of the question: when and how was the Church born? Using Papal writings and teachings he shows us how the Church itself was born from the wounded side of Christ and how it continues to be reborn in this way until the end of time. He concludes by explaining that we who are members of the Church will enter into eternal life through that same wounded side. March 26, 2018.
Episode 12: Fr. Henchey begins this reflection with an excursus on St. Augustine’s commentary on the Psalms and follows that with Thomas Aquinas’ commentary on the open side found in John, connecting both of them to the opening in Adam’s side so that the woman, Eve, could be formed. Just as new life came from Adam’s side, a new Church was born from the open side of Christ. March 19, 2018.
Episode 11: Fr. Henchey finishes his exploration of John 19 and its story of the crucifixion by discussing the meaning of the spear which wounded the side of Christ and the meaning of the blood and water which flowed from his side. He finishes by looking closely at St. Bernard of Clarvaiux’s commentary on the Song of Songs and the way in which the dove hiding in the clefts of the rock serves as a metaphor for the solace, protection and hope we can find by “hiding” in the wounds of Christ our Lord. March 12, 2018.
Episode 10: In this reflection, Fr. Henchey pays close attention to the passage in John 19:34 which tells of the soldier who pierced the side of Christ. He goes on to show how this event was incorporated in the New Catechism after Vatican II. March 5, 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. February 26, 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. February 19, 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. February 12, 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. February 5, 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. January 29, 2018.
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. January 22, 2018.
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 26:Here, Fr. Henchey focuses on the second theological dimension of the mystery of the open side: Christ’s complete abandonment to the will of God. He shows how this is reflected in our own lives in the “thy will be done” petition of the Our Father. Further, he shows how the saints who lived through the “dark night of the soul” did so by trusting completely in the mercy of God and abandoning their will to His. In the same way, we will not lose hope in our own dark nights if we can learn to trust God completely. (Scheduled to air June 25, 2018.)
Episode 27:The third theological dimension of the mystery of the open side is Christ’s constitutional filiation with the Father. Fr Henchey explains that this is shown in the way that Jesus, the beloved Son, is always turned toward God, His Father. In this way, we can see a glimpse of the mutual indwelling of the Most Blessed Trinity. Emphasizing the writings of Cardinal Ratzinger, Fr. Henchey shows that the prayers Jesus prayed in his human nature revealed and maintained his divine connection with God while showing himself as distinct from the Father. (Scheduled to air July 2, 2018.)
Episode 28:In this episode, Fr. Henchey summarizes this long series on the on the healing wounds with an emphasis on the kenosis and the constitutional filiation of Christ which continually renews the face of the earth. After this summary, Fr. Henchey will begin a new chapter in this series focused on the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. (Scheduled to air July 9, 2018.)
Episode 29:Continuing his summary on the open side, Fr. Henchey explains how important it is to contemplate the weaknesses of Christ which culminated in the defacing of his body after death. Nevertheless, in that weakness and through his open side, Christ gave the world the treasures of divinity. In our lives, the Eucharist constantly renews Christ’s great sacrifice with the promise of hope. If we “put on the mind of Christ,” we will find ourselves being pulled onward and upward by Him who was raised on the Cross. By his death and through the wounds of his Stigmata, we are bathed by streams of salvation.