Easter Thursday 2019

Last night’s rain has scattered cherry blossom on the lawn, where it lies in great drifts of creamy loveliness. The Black Mountains are hidden behind a watery greyness while the air holds a kind of electric thrill of birdsong and raindrops. On just such a day, on just such an evening in spring, surely, Jesus came and stood among his disciples and showed them his wounds. And their reaction was very like our own when we are ‘hoping against hope’ but are finally allowed to see and hear what we have been longing for — the sight of someone we love whom we never expected to see again, the sound of their voice, perhaps the touch of their hand.

I love the fact that Jesus convinces the disciples that he is no ghost by eating a piece of grilled fish. There is something so human and natural about eating and a piece of grilled fish — cold, no doubt — is about as unappetizing to the imagination as it is possible to be. It suggests to me that our Lord was indeed a young man when he died and still retained a young man’s iron constitution and boundless appetite!

Be that as it may, there is a more important point here. We tend to think that everyone should have realised who the Risen Christ was. The empty tomb, the opening of the scriptures to the disciples on the way to Emmaus, the breaking of bread, weren’t these enough to show who he was? Apparently not. The empty tomb proclaimed the Resurrection, as Peter and John allowed, but actually meeting Jesus and recognizing him was beset with difficulty. Mary had to hear the sound of his voice before she truly knew him; the disciples had to see him eat before their eyes.

We too can be dumbfounded when we meet the Lord; we too can disbelieve for joy. The problem is not so much that we have failed to see him as that we have predetermined what our meeting should be like; sometimes, alas, we miss him even as we look for him because we do not recognize the reality before us. Something there to ponder, I suggest.

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3 thoughts on “Easter Thursday 2019”

  1. Thank you. Wonderful. I’m pondering on the occasion when I believe, (though still wonder whether it could be really possible), that Jesus appeared to me like a vision and raised my spirit from the depths of despair and grief.He was smiling. Amen. Alleluia!

    • I think the times he comes closest are when we least expect. I never saw him, but like you, I had a time when I was in despair and very close to choosing not to live anymore. Fortunately I had the good sense left to pray, and he was definitely there then, in my moment of crisis. I have generally felt the holy spirit as very close ever since, for which I am rather grateful, since mental health issues are not easily recovered from. As you say, it seems hard to believe possible -I’m a very rational sort of person, and not at all special, or even a very diligent Christian. I hope and pray the confidence in my faith that moment left me with, never fades.

  2. Your comments made me think of Pearl Bailey, an American entertainer famous in the 50’s on who said: People see God all the time, they just don’t recognize him.

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