Reflection on 3rd of Easter: 18th April 2021

The Christ Mystery

‘In every post-Resurrection story we notice that the people involved do not recognise Jesus. Mary Magdalene thinks he is the gardener. The disciples on the way to Emmaus think he is another traveller. When they are telling their story to the other disciples in today’s gospel, Jesus appears again and they all thought he was a ghost. They are unable to recognise the holiness that stands among them. This is God revealing himself in the oh-so-ordinary, oh-so-daily world. ‘Touch me, my hands and my feet .. and see.’1 ‘He was flesh and blood. He ate. He still wore the wounds of crucifixion. That Christ’s flesh remained broken, even in his resurrection, serves as a powerful reminder that his intimate familiarity and solidarity with our human condition did not end with his death.’2

“He then opened their minds to understand the scriptures.” ‘With Jesus’ resurrection, God shatters human preconceived ideas of who God is, where God’s life and energy are to be found, and how God works in this world. This is not a rejection of the natural order. It is allowing the natural order to open to and reveal something more.’3 ‘The limited presence we called Jesus has become a newly revealed presence, a universal presence available beyond all the limitations of space, time, ethnicity, nationality, class and gender. Jesus has now become a universally available presence whom we call the Christ, in whom “were created all things in heaven and earth; everything visible and invisible.” ( Col.1:16) The Christ Mystery is the indwelling of the Divine Presence in everyone and everything. We live in a Christ-soaked world. All is an apparition of the Divine.’1

Albert Einstein is supposed to have said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ‘We opt for the latter when we learn to offer a foundational, daily ‘Yes’ to the moment right in front of us, when we say ‘Yes’ to the universal Presence that is available everywhere, when we say ‘Yes’ to the forgotten reality that all creation is both the hiding place and the revelation of God.’1 ‘We, like the apostles, can then become witnesses to this, based not on an intellectual understanding, but on our growing awareness of the Christ mystery. This is resurrected life.’

Adapted: [1] Richard Rohr [2] Jan Richardson [3] Michael Marsh

Gospel Luke 24:35-48

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 could not believe it, and they stood 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.”