They thought they saw a ghost

Bishop Robert Barron

Friends, in today’s Gospel, the risen Jesus appears to his eleven disciples. They were understandably terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. But Jesus is quick to disabuse them of this notion: “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.”

While they were still amazed and incredulous for joy, he stunned them further, saying, “Have you anything here to eat?” With that, they gave him a piece of baked fish, which he ate in their presence.

The bodily resurrection of Jesus—as the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep—is the great sign that heaven and earth are coming together. A body that can be touched and that can consume baked fish has found its way into the realm of heaven.

What does this mean? It means that bodies are not finally alien to God. We have indeed an Advocate in the heavenly places. Were the Resurrection a convenient story or a clever myth, the two realms of heaven and earth would be as separate as ever.

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