And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet.
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Cornelius a Lapide
And when He had thus spoken, He shewed them His hands and His feet—"pierced, and still bearing the prints of the nails," says Euthymius; as is clear from S. John 20:27. For Christ willed that these five wounds, or rather wound-prints, should remain in His glorified body as trophies of His victory over sin and death and hell.
"He bore them with Him to heaven," says S. Ambrose, "in order to show them to God the Father, as the price of our liberty." For "He who destroyed the kingdom of death would not efface the signs of death." In like manner also the martyrs will exhibit their scars in heaven, as so many glorious tokens of their victory.
For they will be to them not a disfigurement but dignity, and in their bodies a certain beauty will shine forth, a beauty not of the body, but of merit; for such marks as these must not be accounted blemishes. S. Augustine (De Civit. Lib. xxii. cap. xx.)
You will ask whether the disciples actually handled and touched the pierced hands and feet of Christ after His resurrection?
I answer that this is a matter of uncertainty, because Scripture is silent on the subject. But it is probable that some both handled and touched the Lord, especially those who were the more doubtful concerning His resurrection, because they, on their part, were anxious to satisfy themselves, by actual touch, that it was no phantom, but Christ alive from the dead—because also Christ Himself bade them "handle" Him, so that there might be no room for doubt, but that the Apostles might be able to preach to the Gentiles that Christ had indeed risen from the dead.
So we read, "That which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the Word of Life . . . declare we unto you." 1 John 1:1.