Luke 24:36B-48 (NRSV)
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. Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”
Our common imagery of the resurrected Christ gives us an image of a man draped in white robes. But this passage in Luke provides a powerful tidbit about the resurrected Christ. “Have you anything to eat,” he asked the startled disciples and ate a broiled fish. This certainly gives us a message that, Christ who lived and died for the poor, came back from the dead to give the message that he remains for the poor. He could have asked the disciples to slay a fattened calf, or a meal befitting for royalty. But he settled for what was available – broiled fish, a common meal.
As church workers ministering to LGBTQIAs, what does the broiled fish tell us – there is resurrection through the simplest of things. That through a hug, the mere presence, we minister to our brothers and sisters. The broiled fish tells us to continually use messages that are easily understood by the community, just as the broiled fish is a message that Christ remained human. Also startling is the use of the tense “when I was with you” when he indeed was with the disciples at that time. This strongly shows us that Christ remains with us, even if he is not with us.
In this Sunday’s reading, the strong message of forgiveness and grace and our being a witness to all things – such as the small miracles we have seen at MCC Quezon City – is a testament and a challenge for us as we minister to those in need.
Preaching by MPPuzon
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