The disciples told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised Jesus at the breaking of bread.
They were still talking about all this when Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you!’ In a state of alarm and fright, they thought they were seeing a ghost. But he said, ‘Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts rising in your hearts? Look at my hands and feet; yes, it is I indeed. Touch me and see for yourselves; a ghost has no flesh and bones as you can see I have.’ And as he said this he showed them his hands and feet. Their joy was so great that they still could not believe it, and they stood there dumbfounded; so he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ And they offered him a piece of grilled fish, which he took and ate before their eyes.
Then he told them, ‘This is what I meant when I said, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets and in the Psalms has to be fulfilled.’ He then opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘So you see how it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to this.’
Gospel for the 3rd Sunday of Easter
How resistant to belief in the Resurrection the disciples show themselves to be…
Two of them are even telling the story of their earlier meeting with the risen Lord when he appears and they don’t say ‘Look, we told you…’. No. They are alarmed, frightened and think they have seen a ghost. Even to handle the body of Christ is not enough they remain dumbfounded. and unbelieving. Only his tucking into a bit of grilled fish does the business, or seems to…
Their struggle to apprehend and comprehend with Jesus physically there before them should serve us well as a reminder of the extraordinariness of the Resurrection. It is a mystery that should blow our mind – not least because it is beyond a simple restoring to mortal life, but a raising to and for eternal life of one who is now definitively revealed as God and Man.
Grilled St Peter Fish, Galilee. (c) 2017, Allen Morris.