FAITH IN FOCUS: FISH SPECIALS
What do we know about Jesus after his resurrection? Well, we know at least that he was hungry! Both Luke and John report after-death appearances of Jesus where he wants something to eat. And in two of the stories he ends up eating grilled fish. So he wasn’t a vegetarian either!
On one level we can see these two accounts as just simple stories that give us a bit more extra detail than we normally have about Jesus’ social habits. But there may be something else going on in the two gospel writers’ minds. How do we meet the risen Jesus today?
Clearly the most obvious way is through other people. Through our baptism we are called to become “other Christs”. We are called to be Christ to each other and we see the face of Christ in all people who require our care, our concern and our service.
We meet the risen Christ in the liturgy when ministers and congregation gather, for Jesus said that wherever two or three gather in his name he will be present.
We meet him in the words of scripture. Far from being some ancient book of religious formulae the scriptures are the living word of God. When the scriptures are proclaimed in church it is God who speaks.
And while we are ready to say that Christ is present in the sacraments, it has to be the Eucharist that takes pride of place for meeting the risen Lord. For it is in eating and drinking the body and blood of Christ that we come closest to him. St Augustine never tired of telling his congregation that they would become what they ate: the Body of Christ, which is also the name we give to the Church.
At what precise moment did the two Emmaus disciples realise that they were in the presence of their risen Lord? It was when he broke the bread for them to eat. What was it that Jesus asked the apostles for in both Luke and John’s gospel? Something to eat!
Not surprising really, because when we eat that bread and drink that cup we proclaim Christ’s death and resurrection until he comes again.