CHA Easter reflection: Truth

Sunday, April 20, 2014

in News

Catholic Health Association’s Easter reflection: Bunkum or Truth.

Peter claims, in the Acts of the Apostles, that the servant Jesus has been glorified. Among other things, such a claim might be referring to the testimonies about the risen Lord that the third Gospel drew upon.

While the disciples who had returned from the road to Emmaus were explaining how they recognized Jesus in the breaking of bread, Jesus suddenly appeared in their midst. Frightened, they thought they were seeing a ghost, but Jesus told them to look at his wounds and even touch him. He knew they were having trouble believing what was before them. As if to convince them that he was somehow, albeit strangely, flesh and blood, he asked for something to eat in their presence.

This, like other accounts of the risen Jesus, is amazingly wonderful. And despite the efforts of countless commentators and interpreters over the centuries to reduce these narratives to something neither quite so strange nor nearly so wonderful, one fact remains: The resurrection community that had experienced Jesus’ dying now experienced his risen presence. And it was, quite insistently, an embodied one.

This is a Jesus of sight and sound, of memories and relationships, of love and tenderness. He would take food and allow himself to be touched. Even his wounds could be examined. It was a recognizable and identifiable Jesus, a realization of his bodied existence. And yet he seemed to transcend the conditions of sheer organic materiality. He would appear out of nowhere, supposedly pass through walls and closed doors, walk on water, and reveal wounds surprisingly different from the open sores of earthly trauma.

Often enough, we come across claims that this cannot be literally true. But what if it were true.

Christ the Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

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Shared with permission from Catholic Health Association ( The author is the late Fr. John F. Kavanaugh, SJ, who published them in 2005 in the booklet, Daybreaks: Daily Reflections for Lent and Easter (by Liguori Publications).  Liguori has graciously allowed CHA to extend his writings through this 2014 series. In these reflections, Fr. Kavanaugh opens a door to understanding the mystery of Christ’s redemptive mission and offers a provocative message of love in a world weary of materialism.


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