20 April 2006

Holy Appetizers

Surely there are deep theological reasons why the today's Gospel includes the detail about Jesus asking for food and eating it in front of his disciples. His body was, indeed, a body; Jesus' resurrected body was not that of a ghost or an angel, but a human body. He was hungry and he ate.

This detail, however, suggests another (albeit less theological) theme: Jesus' comfort and intimacy with his disciples. It is only in the company of those with whom we are very comfortable that we can act as Jesus did. It is almost a level of familial comfort. How many young people visit home during college and, upon entering the kitchen, ask, "Got anything to eat, Mom?" as they open the refrigerator and begun to peruse the pickings. In how many other homes are we comfortable enough to ask for food or to raid the refrigerator. Normally, it would be considered rude -- or at least socially awkward -- if one were to behave this way in the home of a host or a stranger.

The company of the disciples was a space in which Jesus was at home, comfortable, and welcome. Would that we too could be considered a place where the Lord is at home. Would that our hearts were places so "familiar" to the Lord that he would choose to visit us often. The Easter season is a wonderful time to cultivate a space for the Lord in our hearts. By our attention to Scripture, our careful and prayerful attention to those around us, we may fashion a welcome place for the Lord to visit.

"The spirit of gentleness must be preserved at all costs, else yours would not be a Visitation house even though all the rest of the rules should be observed, for this, the most important of characteristics would be wanting." St. Jane de Chantal

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