discussion over “a piece of broiled fish”

See “a piece of broiled fish”
Soulwork Toward Sunday: self-guided retreat
Easter 3 (year B) April 22,2012

So here we are in the Eighth Day and I’m still learning what it means to awake to a new creation. Because this year I particularly noticed the sensate and material emphasis of the Passion and Resurrection stories (see last post) it is no wonder that Jesus eating the piece of broiled fish obsessed me. I’ve always liked this story and I joke about it – part of one my my schticks – in my retreats.

So I actually put up this question on Facebook: “Why did Jesus eat the piece of broiled fish?” And besides delightful answers like, “Because he didn’t eat red meat!” and “Because, as any child will tell you ghosts don’t eat” and “Resurrecting sure works up a big appetite” and “Eating leftovers is virtuous,” the way the discussion moved along helped me very much. Some pointed out that Luke wants to make sure his hearers understand the resurrection isn’t some Gnostic or ethereal sleight-of-hand, that the resurrection of the body is real – emphasizing the sacredness of the physical world.

This moves me deeply, as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, because of my own history of chronic pain and recent healing, having wanted most of my life to be out of my body and using my mind to circumvent both sensation and emotion.

Another Facebook friend writes, “In Luke Jesus loves to eat–from his birth in an animal trough to symposia with all and sundry throughout the gospel–to the extent that people say of him: ‘a glutton and a drunkard.’ If he eats fish in the resurrection, not only will he be recognized but maybe disbelief will be overcome”. So his eating is about recognition, and the utter joy and sanctification of the act of both eating and table fellowship.

Another friend wrote “I cannot imagine heaven without the joy of taking in food, without taste, smell, aromas. I think Jesus was reassuring us that we will not have to let go of these things. In fact, eating here in this way is just a ‘foretaste of the heavenly banquet.’

The whole it it reminded me of the end of the Book of Job, when, after all the disasters are over, (and God has outshouted Job with all that talk about how great the crocodile is in the scheme of creation) and his fortunes renewed, the old man stops being so obsequiously reverent. He names his children un-pious names – Dove, Cinnamon, and Mascara. He’s more content and holier than ever.

I suppose this line of thought on the bodily resurrection is nudging me toward loving sensate, material life more than I do. Awakening to the New Creation requires embracing and thoroughly loving the creation at hand.

[Thank you, Facebook contributors! And what I actually ended up writing is found in “About This Week’s Prompts for Meditation” on this week’s website http://edgeofenclosure.org]

One Response to “discussion over “a piece of broiled fish””

  1. M Says:

    I stumbled upon this while searching the Scripture and it made me curious. I believe Jesus ate the broiled fish to show that after the resurrection, we will have a new and glorified body. He wanted His disciples to know that this new body was not a ghost, but real. He told Thomas to touch the holes in His hand and side (John 20:27) and told Mary to not hold on to Him yet for He had not yet ascended to His Father (John 20:17). He told His disciples, “See My hands and feet, that it is I myself; handle Me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Luke 24:39). I believe that the new body affirms the goodness of God’s original creation of how things were suppose to be in the beginning (God said it was good before sin corrupted it). It’s interesting and miraculous.

    His resurrected body is a promise for us who believe that we too will pass on from death to life.

    God bless!!

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