Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have (Lk 24:39).
They gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them (Lk 24:42-43).
In today’s Gospel, the Risen Christ invites us to touch his wounds, as Doubting Thomas did last week. He also demonstrates that he has basic bodily functions by eating food. Christ is confronting his disciples—and us—with the flesh and blood reality of our faith. Jesus does not rise from the dead and appear as a ghost or some ethereal being. Rather, he inhabits his resurrected body—in all its glory and with all its wounds, in his perfect humanity and divinity.
The Resurrection is a sublime moment, but Christ immediately grounds it in the real. He’s conquered sin and death, he’s appearing in all his glory, he’s radiating peace, and he’s . . . eating a piece of baked fish. It sounds off key, but this is the heart of our faith. I love this aspect of Catholicism, this ability to meet us in the everyday, in our humanity, and to transform us, even our bodily needs. The everyday, real moments of motherhood are the gift of our vocation, an invitation to remember that Jesus walked in the world, amid the mess, amid all the necessities of daily human life.
Motherhood requires me to face several necessities of human life each day—not only my own, but those of four other people as well. For example, my family has this annoying and repetitive need to be fed. Making dinner or—let’s be honest— ordering pizza on those days that get away from you, does not seem glamorous or miraculous. But neither was eating fish until it was done by the risen Christ. Everything our Lord touches becomes charged with meaning.
I also frequently encounter wounds—scraped knees, bleeding cuts, bumps on the head. Band-aids, kisses, and comfort are part of my routine. Like the Risen Christ, these wounds are an encounter with reality, with the bodily limits of humanity.
Will you allow the Lord to transfigure all the messy, wounded moments of your life this Easter season? Watch for the moments where the human and the divine meet in your own life, the moments that are charged with meaning. It may be a sublime stone that rolls away, but perhaps it will be something as simple as taking a bite of baked fish. Wherever you find these moments, make space for the Holy Spirit and watch the mundane become the miraculous.