Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Lord's Breakfast

(3rd Sunday of Easter, C)

You have to love someone to cook breakfast for him. Growing up, my Mom made my Dad’s breakfast every single day. When she got a hip fracture a few years ago, Mom was convalescing for a while, and Dad had to cook his breakfast himself. When Mom got better, she presumed that she would be back cooking, but Dad declined and said that he would keep on doing it for himself. Mom was perplexed; what did this mean? So she spied a little on Dad and realized that when he made his own breakfast, he got twice as much bacon! It can be a tough contest between bacon and love. My pastor when I was a deacon used to make me breakfast every Sunday. Fr. John Gallagher made me breakfast once, on Christmas. Fr. Moe has made me breakfast once so far. So he should know that he has a couple of months to do it again if he wants to get into second place as loving pastor.

Today in the gospel we see the risen Jesus in this tender, loving act of cooking breakfast for his disciples. As we hear this image of Jesus preparing the bread and fish on the beach, we are, of course, reminded me of how Jesus had fed the multitude with the miraculous multiplication of loaves and fishes. This comparison brings out a larger and important teaching for us during this Easter season: The Risen Christ, from his place in God’s eternity, does the same things that the historical Jesus of Nazareth did in his earthly ministry. What’s more, the Resurrection reveals that these two categories are not entirely distinct, but are continuous with one another. This means, brothers and sisters, that when we hear about the preaching, reconciling, forgiving, and healing of Jesus in the gospels, we are not hearing about the past, but about the present. The gospels were, of course, written from the perspective of the fullness of the revelation of the meaning of Jesus that comes with his resurrection, and so illustrate for us what the Lord is up to in our lives right now. Jesus Christ, risen into the Presence living within each of us who are baptized into his death and resurrection, risen into our faith, and risen into the sacraments handed down to us by apostolic tradition, continues his work of healing, saving, and proclaiming the Kingdom of God among us.

But there is a slight difference between the ministry of the historical Jesus and that of the risen Lord. Jesus in his earthly ministry fed the multitude with the loaves and fishes. In the gospel today he only feeds those who recognize him standing on the beach. So it is with us who live in these last days inaugurated by Jesus’ resurrection. He offers his own Love as our nourishment here at the Sunday Eucharist, but only for those who accept the eyes to recognize him standing on the shore. That’s where our risen Lord Jesus is, brothers and sisters, standing on the shore of the eternity into which we shall all go one day, longing for us to look up from our busyness to recognize him, and preparing for us the meal that will nourish our spirits in this life, and carry us into the world to come. Here, at the Eucharist, the Holy Mass, Jesus is preparing for us the breakfast that is the first meal of our eternal life. That’s love.


4narnia said...

i loved your homily this evening at the 5:00 Mass, Fr. C! it was absolutely beautiful and so inspiring! i especially love the last paragraph of your homily, where you tell us about Jesus' LOVE for us. PAX! ~tara t~

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Lovely post. I read it twice, with pleasure.