Reflection by Rev. Leonard N. Peterson
In my retirement I have learned that I am at least a half decent cook. My loving Mom was prescient years ago when she taught me how to cook a decent breakfast and a few dinner menus under her simple rubric: “You might not be able to get a cook at the rectory.” How right she was, as many a priest these days can attest. Over the years I’ve grown more confident at the job. When I read this week’s post Easter appearance of Jesus and how He was handed a piece of “baked fish” to eat, I couldn’t help think of the many pieces of fish I have successfully baked.
Of course St. Luke, with his keen and practiced doctor’s eye for details, adds this fact to underscore the fact that Jesus’ was a true bodily resurrection and not some chimera conjured up by the Apostles. Jesus’ body was real enough to grow hungry, even though it had been glorified. That brings to the fore the whole question of what happens to our own bodies in the next life.
Faith provides the main answer. As the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults asserts: “Faith in the resurrection of our bodies is inseparable from our faith in the resurrection of Christ’s body from the dead. He rose as our head, as the pattern of our rising, and as the life-giving source of our new life.”
Later in the same section the Catechism adds: “In the final resurrection, our bodies will be transformed, though we do not know precisely how. The manner of our resurrection exceeds our understanding and imagination and is accessible only to our faith.”
I find myself asking fanciful questions after reading those serious statements. Are we to enjoy good food like baked fish or grilled steak in heaven? Are all the desserts there to have no caloric effects on our avoirdupois? Will we be cooking our food, or will it just appear at our place on celestial china? What is certain here on earth is that phrase in our Nicene Creed that we profess every Sunday which states our belief in “the resurrection of the body.”
I close with one more citation from the Catechism. “It (our resurrection) is a sobering belief because it reminds us of the judgment yet to come, and at the same time it is a joyful belief that heralds
life everlasting with God.” Good for all of us to bask in that belief this April weekend.
God love you and give you His peace.
Reading I: Acts 3: 13-15, 17-19
Peter’s use of several honored titles of God in the Old Testament shows that he is a true Israelite speaking to his own in this sermon, and he urges them to repent and be converted to Christ.
Reading II: I John 2: 1-5a
Jesus is our true Advocate should we fall into sin. Paul tells us that “to know God” means keeping His commandments.
The Gospel: Luke 24: 35-48
Several themes of Luke’s gospel come together in this last section. Such are table fellowship, God’s promises fulfilled in Jesus; forgiveness of sins; witnessing; the Holy Spirit; Jesus’ journey to the Father is complete.