The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for the home
April 15, 2018 – Third Sunday of Easter
Throughout the gospel we are given many examples of Jesus taking care of others. He cured their illnesses. He drove evil spirits from them. He gave sight to their blindness. He spoke words of God so that they would understand the deep truth of their lives. He even died for them. As later theologians would put it, “He was a man for others.”
In this Sunday’s gospel we come across a delightful example of Jesus asking for and receiving something from others. Specifically, it was from the two disciples with whom he “broke bread” at Emmaus. Luke states that they are back in Jerusalem with the other disciples.
Suddenly Jesus, the Risen One, was also among them. As proof that it was really him in their midst, he told them to look at his wounded hands and feet. He was not a ghost or a spirit. And after they realized it really was him, out of the blue he asked them,” Do you have anything to eat?” He noticed that they had recently baked some fish. Perhaps he could smell the smoke. Perhaps Jesus thought that good smoked fish is always delicious.
So, they gave him a piece and “he took it and ate it in front of them.” Thus, he had two meals with those two disciples that he met on the road to Emmaus. One with bread and one with fish. Sharing food with others often symbolizes a very important idea in the gospels. Sharing food with others meant sharing life with them. This sharing of the fish with Jesus, even after he is risen, is worth thinking about.
Earlier Jesus had called twelve men to be his special followers. They came from various walks of life (as we put it) but the largest number were fishermen. Bread and fish were served to the multitudes who came to hear the words of Jesus. The gift of the land was bread. The gift of the sea was fish. As followers of Christ, we were to be nourished by all that God had created. And we were to share God’s gifts with each other.
The Risen Jesus was to be part of all nourishing activities in God’s kingdom from then on. The resurrection was not the end of God’s involvement with us, but the beginning. Jesus wants to be a part of our lives, so not only are we fed by his body and blood in the Eucharist, but we also feed him (symbolically speaking) in all the meals that we share with others. The disciples from Emmaus were among the first to do this. Jesus really enjoyed that fish dinner!
©David M. Thomas, PhD