The Risen Jesus (Apr. 12, 2015)

Man, Jesus was really busy that first Easter Sunday! He appears to Mary at the tomb, he appears to two depressed disciples going home to Emmaus, and he comes to the Upper Room where the remaining disciples are huddled in fear. I’m sure that somewhere during that day he must have had a reunion with his Mother Mary. What a tender moment that must have been. As I often say at funerals, “Separations are the pits, but the reunions oh my!!”

Sunday’s Gospel takes place immediately after Jesus’ dinner with the Emmaus disciples. No sooner do they arrive at the Upper Room with their news about Jesus than Jesus himself appears. I kinda wonder about that. Luke says that the disciples were walking home to Emmaus and suddenly the Lord was with them. They had not seen him. Given the coincidence in arrival times, did Jesus perhaps walk with them on the 9 miles back to Jerusalem, again without their knowledge? It’s very similar to what happens with us: Jesus walks with us every step of our journey, though we are not aware of it most of the time.

Jesus’ rapid-fire appearances and disappearances, and his ability to pass through closed doors certainly indicate that he was not constrained by time and space as we are. Yet all the Gospels say that the Risen Jesus definitely had a body. Luke was writing his Gospel for Greek readers, who would have been extremely skeptical about such as thing as rising from the dead. So Luke tries to comfort the skeptics by having Jesus eat a piece of fish and having the disciples touch him. Ghosts don’t have bodies and don’t need food. The Risen Jesus is exactly the man they knew before his death, and yet he is far more than they knew.

Right now you and I have a certain image of Jesus living in our minds and hearts. Is it the same you’ve had for years and years, or has it evolved over your life’s journey? Are you more in love with the Lord, less in love, or just “eh.” Are you afraid of Jesus, or secure in the awareness of his love for you? Can you converse with him, or “just be” with him in the same way as you can with your nearest and dearest? I mean, after all, the Lord Jesus is really really real! May you can’t get your head wrapped around that, but your heart sure can!

Live passionately, my friend!

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