Here’s a snippet of the Gospel appointed for today:
Luke 24:36-53 (NRSV)
While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.
I love this appearance of the resurrected Jesus. The disciples were huddled together, not knowing how to take the next steps in their lives. What do we do now? All that we thought and hoped for with Jesus…is dashed. He’s dead, killed, buried. Such a level of disorientation and sadness.
Jesus appeared among them, this dynamic Jesus who breaks through locked doors and fearful hearts. He comes into their midst and meets them where they are. But, even in his resurrection, Jesus is breaking through the more traditional, or understood, ways. “I am not a ghost,” he tells them. I’m not just some disembodied spirit. I’m something more.
And the text describes the disciples in this wonderful state, “while in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering.” I’ve always loved that, this juxtaposition of feelings: joy, disbelief, and wonder. All swirled together in this space of reorientation. This space of new vision, of broadened horizons.
Jesus wants to make sure they understand that this resurrection event is happening in our world, not in some disembodied existence. Our world has been changed, our reality, our sphere of existence. “Do you have anything to eat,” he asks them. Eat? And this resurrected Lord gathers with his disciples and shares a piece of fish. Live is never going to be the same.