O God, whose blessed Son did manifest himself to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open, we pray thee, the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work.
(Collect for 3 Easter)
The Gospels tell us a curious story about Jesus appearing to his followers after his death.
• The disciples had seen Jesus crucified and dead on the cross. They had looked for his body in the tomb, but had been able to gain no solace even in preparing his flesh for the grave.
• Then as they walked, spoke, and broke bread together in the days that followed, Jesus was there with them. Alive. In these ordinary, everyday activities of people sticking together despite their pain and grief. Jesus is made known to his friends as the bearer of love that refuses to die, which will never go away.
Jesus had offered his very body for his friends, holding back nothing in his divinely human self-giving. And it was this very body that Jesus wanted those friends now to know had been raised to life anew.
• So he showed Thomas his hands.
• He spoke, walked, and sat down and ate with them.
And their eyes were opened, like the eyes of all the blind that Jesus had ever healed. They saw. And then they too, began to live again. Jesus “the Redeemer of the World”, Jesus present with us once again, Jesus of Nazareth.
• Jesus who embodied the same love desired by Israel’s prophets.
• Jesus who knows our needs because they have been God’s own.
• Jesus, whose redeeming work enables us to live anew, in harmony; with God’s nature (compassionate, redeeming love; within ourselves, with our neighbors, with all creation).
May we, during these curious and trying times of seemingly ‘apartness and disunity’ practice, search, harness the power of this Love, freely given, as we go about navigating this time of uncertainty, with the certainty of our faith in practice & practicing our faith.
With love, Nancy