Have you anything here to eat?
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. (Luke 24:36-43 NRSV)
In yesterday’s post (What things?) Jesus encountered Cleopas and another disciple walking on the road to Emmaus. Just before today’s passage, we learn that Jesus stayed to break bread with them, and this meal became the eye-opening act the two needed to fully recognize their resurrected friend. Now, as he appears again to the eleven, they remain in wondrous disbelief even after he shows them his hands and feet. Jesus then asks if they have anything to eat. This act seems to be the preferred way Jesus chooses to reveal himself to his beloved disciples.
Isn’t this beautiful? Twice, Jesus is revealed in the breaking of bread, in the sharing of a meal.
The practice of sharing meals together or feeding one another seems to be very important to Jesus. All through his earthly life, Jesus often described kingdom living in terms of feasts and banquets. He ate with sinners, he fed the crowds. In the last meal shared with his disciples before his death, Jesus created a sacrament for them and for us to receive his presence and remember him forever. You may remember that he also fed the disciples again on the beach with fish cooked over a fire after his resurrection (Easter- Do you love me?). Jesus also told Peter to “Feed my sheep,” as a way to show his love for others.
This is the last of the season’s posts. We now move on to our “normal” daily living in the light of the Easter resurrection (at least as normal as we can be in these trying times).
Now, Jesus wants to know, “Have you anything here to eat?”
Jesus is our bread of life, our strength and our sustenance. Jesus continues to feed us today with his Word, his Spirit, and his meal. He is inviting us to join his banquet. This is our opportunity to invite others to share his feast, too. We are meant to gather with one another, to bring what we have to the table, to share our food and our hospitality, to remember Jesus and to welcome his presence. We are made to laugh and talk and love and listen and feed and be and dream and help and share, seated all together as one around the table, feasting on the love of Jesus.*
Are you talking to ME?
Today Jesus asks, “Have you anything here to eat?”
How do you need to be fed with the bread of Christ today? What will you bring to the table? Can you recall a meal that especially blessed you? What made it so special? Have you ever been excluded from a table? How might you welcome another? Could you help a hungry person today (whether physically or spiritually hungry)? Do you ever feel as if you are missing out on the fullness of the banquet Jesus is offering? Where might you need to open yourself further? What do you have to offer today?
Have you anything here to eat?
*I had written this post early in February, not knowing what would be in store for our world with COVID 19. At the time, it was such a joyful way to end the season’s meditations, with our invitation to gather, share and eat, together in the love of Christ…
We are sad that we cannot physically gather to do this right now. But how might we virtually or spiritually feed and gather with one another? May we do all that we can- through prayer, writing letters or cards, making calls, connecting via internet, and supporting agencies and individuals who are helping others in this crisis.
We are still connected in love, in Spirit, in caring thoughts. We are connected as the Body of Christ.
Thank you for reading. Peace, dear friends.