"He showed them his hands and his feet.
And then asked them if they had anything to eat."

As early Christian writers
set out to write the Good News of God in Christ Jesus;
as they tell the story
of Jesus' birth and death and resurrection,
there is one detail they
don't shy away from,
don't cover up with careful editing,
or submerse in over-theologizing:

the resurrected Christ is wounded and is hungry.

Wounded and hungry
as Saint Luke tells it
on a road and at an inn
along the way to Emmaus,
and then, again,
back home in the City of Jerusalem.

Wounded and hungry
as Saint John tells it,
with Thomas in a locked upper room,
and with Simon Peter over a small fire
on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias.
The resurrected Christ is wounded and is hungry.

Hungry not simply for fish, or bread, or food.
But
hungry for the companionship of fellow travelers;
eager for the communion
that comes when you sit down at table and break bread
with friends and with strangers and with enemies;
zealous for the shared commitment to
feeding the hungry,
caring for the needs of others,
tending the flock of Christ.

A restless hunger
unafraid to show hands and feet and side.
unafraid to show the woundedness
of the resurrected body of Christ.

It is a tenderness that is Good News
in a world that
considers woudedness, weakness.
Good News in a world refusing
to acknowledge that if one goes hungry we all are hungry.
Good News in a society that renames
social services, entitlements.
And disparages those who rely on them
for their daily bread.

A resurrected Christ who shows himself
wounded and hungry
is God's promise to draw even the wounded and hungry
to Christ's resurrected body;
God's promise of fidelity;
God's promise Mary sings of as
healing the sick,
filling the hungry,
raising up the lowly.

For Christ's death,
Christ's three-days in the tomb
is not death,
but the way to life,
not the end,
but the beginning of new life.

That'd be good enough Good News to write a Gospel.
Good enough Good News to preach a sermon.
Good enough Good News to found the church.
Good enough Good News to live.

But the witness of these early Christian writers
is even greater than this.
The promise of God in Christ Jesus,
is that the resurrected Christ
shows up wounded and hungry
precisely when no one expects God not to show up,
and in places where no one expects God to be.

In the Temple, yes, God ought be there.
But not on a road to Emmaus
or any other insignificant place.
Not in a locked away upper room.
Nor out on a deserted seashore.

Yet, the resurrected Christ Jesus
shows up wounded and hungry
in these places of fear,
and when all hope seems lost;
shows up among people who haven't prayed enough,
or done enough of the right things;
shows up even though those thought to be most faithful
—these disciples we keep hearing about—
haven't this side of the empty tomb
said a single word to anyone about the life offered them,
offered others,
offered the whole world.

Shows up precisely in moments of disregard,
and moments of despair;
shows up in those moments
when humanity is ready to turn in on itself,
when communities begin to fracture.

Shows up as promise.
Promise that God in Christ Jesus'
victory over evil, despair, even death,
is our victory, too.

All we do is live by it.
Say "yes" to it.

And who could say anything other than "yes"
to God in Christ Jesus standing in our midst.
Bearing hands and feet and side
and asking, "Have you something to eat?"

For we have such food.
Each time we gather.
Remembering the night in which he was betrayed.
Not as the end but a beginning.
Of life.
This body, broken.
No wonder Jesus shows up to break bread
with those fleeing Jerusalem,
abandoning their mission.
Eat and be encouraged.

No wonder Jesus shows up and asks
for something to eat back in the City.
Eat and be nourished to go out in to the world.

No wonder Jesus shows up
with Thomas in the upper room
and Simon Peter out on the seashore.
There are others hungry that need to be fed.

No wonder Jesus shows up,
even among splintering communities
—I think especially of Saint Paul's church in Corinth
where the body of Christ was dividing
among the haves and the have nots,
the educated and the more simple minded,
old and young,
mature in faith the weak in faith,
dividing as the first example of denominationalism in church:
those who belonged to Paul and those to Apollos.
No wonder Jesus shows up
for there is only one body of Christ.
And we are all individually members of it.

The resurrected Christ bearing hands and feet and side
and saying, "Have you something to eat?"
among people like us and
communities like ours
is Good News,
much needed Good News,
when it is all too easy to exploit fracture among people;
all too easy to wave the banner of divisiveness;
all too easy to succumb to the resurgence of denominationalism,
and tribalism of all sorts.

The resurrected Christ shows up in our midst
wounded and hungry,
and invites us to
table.
To sit down and break bread together,
really break bread together
the breaking of bread that
bears our own woundedness and hunger to one another,
which makes of us the resurrected by of Christ,
offering a much-needed witness to all the world.
And in doing so, find the beginning of healing.
In doing so, practice the ways of peace.
In bearing our own selves,
hold tenderly the selves of others.
"Forgive us our sins."
we pray
"As we forgive those who sin against us."

This sort of communal communion
is not flashy,
not profitable,
not entertain-able.
It is not based on logical cause and effect.

But it is power.
Power from on high.
It is power which claims that in
breaking bread,
in showing hands and feet and side
God's Easter promise is true:
Alleluia! Christ is risen.
Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Jared R. Stahler
Saint Peter's Church
In the City of New York
THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER

Sunday, April 19, 2015 - 11:00 AM Mass
Acts 3:12–19
Psalm 4
1 John 3:1–7
Saint Luke 24:36–49

Christus resurrexit!