This Week's Message from
As the season of Easter continues to unfold for us, stories of Jesus’ appearance help us to identify Him as risen from the dead. Who or what is it that people experience in the risen Lord? Some do not recognize Him at all, yet others believe He is a ghost and still others see only a stranger and are not able to identify Him. As they look closer, share a meal, listen as He breaks open Scripture, or see the wounds of the crucifixion, then they are able to identify Him as the risen Christ. The Lord makes Himself known to us and we are called to be more aware that Christ is alive. Easter is a season to see and experience the impossible… Jesus the Christ is risen from the dead!
Sharing in a meal was extremely important to Jesus. We know how in His public ministry He often sat at table with friends and enemies and shared nourishment with them. His eating with others was locked into the culture of the day. Sharing a meal was an intimate act and it was through a meal that one connected with another. Jesus understood this and promptly made the table a place of conversion and, at times, teaching. He was able to take advantage of the situation and invited those whom we least expected to share food with Him!
Post Resurrection accounts often have Jesus providing food for His friends. In this dynamic, He is continuing what He did in His public ministry. As the risen Christ, His sharing a meal offers an even greater motivation for the disciples to remember the meals shared and the revelation of Jesus within the meal.
At this particular meal in today’s Gospel, Jesus does not give directions for the disciples to find food, nor does He offer them an invitation to sit at table. Instead, He asks them for something to eat... they give Him a piece of fish. What is so significant about this meal scene? Rather than Jesus blessing and breaking bread, He asks His closest friends for food. Could it be that Jesus was offering instruction to His friends about how they will need to provide bread for the world?
This is all a part of the mystery of the dying and rising of Jesus. For us, as Catholic Christians, we cannot separate the Paschal Mystery and the Eucharist. When we eat the Bread of Life each Sunday, we consume Christ who died, but we also consume the Christ who rose again, as well as the Christ who ate and celebrated His way through Galilee with His friends even after His death. It is no mere coincidence that food is just as important after the Resurrection as it was prior to it. It gives much meaning to our Eucharistic celebration and helps us to better understand the depth and significance of what we do as we gather and eat around the altar of Christ. Over the next week allow this Gospel to help shape your reflection on the gift of the Eucharist.
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