Sharing a meal with Jesus

1 May 2022 3rd Sunday Easter Year C 2022

Sitting down to a nice meal with family and friends is important in cultures worldwide. Often, a lot of thought and effort goes into the preparation and planning of the menu. In many households, the dishes for significant family gatherings often consist of old favourites.

These dishes, with their presentation, aroma and taste can stimulate a sense of nostalgia, taking a person back to their childhood or triggering a fond memory of a loved one that sadly is no longer around.

In today’s gospel, Jesus is preparing a meal for his disciples. The location by the shores of the Sea of Tiberias (the Sea of Galilee) would have been very familiar to the disciples as it was on these very shores that Jesus fed the crowd of five thousand earlier in his life and ministry. They would have recalled an earlier event when they had fished for hours with no luck. Jesus appeared and told them to drop the net again and before long their boat was overflowing with fish.

Therefore, the setting is a familiar one with Jesus sitting down with his disciples for a meal and providing the bread, the charcoal fire and the fish. However, not all is the same. Something has changed and that is the person of Jesus himself. While Jesus used to be like the disciples, living and eating amongst them, there is now a distinct difference. Jesus has risen from the dead. He was crucified on Good Friday, he overcame death and sin and on Easter Sunday he rose from the tomb.

Through his death and resurrection, Jesus revealed himself to be true Man and true God and was completely unrecognisable to his disciples. Jesus was not just a man anymore. The disciples recognised Jesus by eating with him by the sea of Tiberias.

They first had to open their hearts, minds and spirits to the risen Jesus and, importantly, be open to his offer to share a meal and his invitation to continue his ministry to spread the Good News of the Kingdom of God.

As disciples of Jesus in the world today, we too are offered a similar invitation. For us to recognise the truly risen Jesus in the midst of our lives. And like the disciples in today’s gospel, we are not asked to bring anything other than to have an open mind, an open heart and an open spirit.

We need to trust in Jesus and cast the nets of our faith far and wide and to understand the great sign that Jesus is working in and through us each day and each moment. We are invited to the meal that Jesus prepares for us and to live our lives following in the Good News of God’s Kingdom of love, mercy and compassion.

Mark Chia CSsR

© Majellan Media 2022


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