This Sunday’s Gospel reading contains a rich variety of responses to the Resurrection of the Lord: alarm and fright, agitation, joy, disbelief and amazement. Can we put ourselves into the situation and imagine what those days must have been like for the apostles and their companions? They thought the end had come – the end of their hopes and expectations. Instead, Jesus, risen from the dead – flesh and bone - stands before them and eats a piece of grilled fish. This is an exhilarating scene which St Luke records in such wonderful detail. We can be sure that his sources were primary – those who saw the Lord and touched him and heard him speak and saw him eat did as they were told – they acted as witnesses. We thank God for their fidelity.
Is this the end of the story – a happy ending? Not at all. The point of the Resurrection is that it, far from being the happy ending, it is instead a new beginning. Clothed with the glorious, loving power of the Risen One we, like the apostles, are charged to go out and proclaim the forgiveness of sins, the promise of eternal life.
Rise heart; thy Lord is risen.
Sing his praise without delays,
Who takes thee by the hand,
that thou likewise with him mayst rise.
(From ‘Easter’ by George Herbert)