Gold-Laden Glue

A Homily for the Second Sunday of Easter


Then he [i.e. Jesus] said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”

–John 20:27–


Have you ever heard of the art form known as kintsugi?  When a clay or porcelain vase is broken, the Japanese do not simply discard the shattered remains.  They repair the vessel with glue or resin containing gold dust, hence the name kintsugi, which literally means “gold joinery.”  The resulting piece is often very beautiful, even lovelier than the original.  There are actually some individuals who deliberately break brand-new pieces of pottery for the purpose of bringing about the kintsugi effect!  The idea is that brokenness is not something to be covered up or denied but rather to be embraced as part of the vessel’s history.

I have frequently pondered the fact that Christ’s risen body still bears the wounds of His crucifixion.  As the hymn says:


Crown Him the Lord of love!
Behold His hands and side—
Rich wounds, yet visible above,
In beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky
Can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends His wond’ring eye
At mysteries so bright.[1]


Our Lord’s glorified wounds are a sign of brokenness embraced, transformed, and transcended.  Is there a lesson in this for me regarding my own life and my relationships with others?

[1] Matthew Bridges, published 1852.