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Second Sunday of Easter B ~ "A Horse Named Buddy" Fr. Jim Schmitmeyer

I have a horse named Buddy. He is gentle and eager to please. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a lot of self-confidence. He lets other horses push him around and, sometimes, they beat him up pretty bad.

When I bought Buddy, he was skinny because the other horses wouldn’t let him eat. Buddy also has a scar on his flank. The scar is very obvious. And very ugly. I don’t know how it got there, but it will be there for the rest of his life.

Buddy and I are business partners. I volunteer at a rehabilitation center for drug addicts. Sometimes, the clients gather for group therapy at my horse pen where I introduce them to Buddy.

Like my horse, they too, carry scars. Like the scars on my horse, these individuals will carry their scars for the rest of their lives. Some of their scars are self-inflicted, some are the result of having been thrown into a life with powerful forces that kick them aside, don’t let them eat and pummel them into the dust.

When these folks meet Buddy, they notice his scar, but they see more than a scar. They see themselves. Eventually, they catch a glimmer of hope in the that scar.

Once they get acquainted with Buddy, they realize that the suffering he experienced did not harden his heart, it made it softer; they realize that the abuse he endured did not break his spirit, rather, it set him free from having to dominate and control the world around him. For the recovering addicts, Buddy’s scar is beautiful.

Sometimes, I catch some of them rubbing their fingers across the ridges of his scar, gently, reverently. The way that I imagine St. Thomas once touched the scars of the Risen Christ.

What scars do you carry? How deep are the wounds of your soul? Will you allow the scars on the Risen Lord heal them? Will you allow yourself to draw near enough to touch them? Will you allow your spirit to exclaim, “My Lord and my God!”

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