Dear Friends in Christ,
One of the remarkable things about today’s post-resurrection appearance of Jesus is that he ate broiled fish! Quite why the resurrected body infused with the very life of God, a body which had conquered sin and death, needed the nourishment of the broiled fish is hard to know – one to ponder for sure. As fascinating as this would be as a theme for our reflection today, our focus is going to be elsewhere. Our focus is on how, despite appearing to his disciples, despite the hard physical evidence, Jesus nevertheless ‘opened their minds so that they could understand the Scriptures.’
From this Scripture we see that in order to graps the reality of the resurrection, the event of the bodily resurrection of a human being, suffused and transfused with the immortal life of God, it remained imperative that the disciples devoted their lives to understanding the Scriptures. In other words, the actual witness in real life and real time of the Risen Christ wasn’t enough for this profound transcendent reality to take root in their hearts and minds. It was through the Bible, the sacred Scriptures that the disciples encountered the Risen Christ, and this is still true for us today.
This is why reading the Bible is so foundational and essential in living the Christian life. Never was there a truer saying than ‘Bibles that are falling apart are read by people whose lives are not’. When Paul cried out, ‘I want to know Christ – yes to know the power of his resurrection’, God’s response was ‘If you want to know the power of the resurrection, read the Scriptures, devote yourself to devouring the Word of God.’ For Paul this would have been only the Hebrew Scriptures – he couldn’t have realised that his letters would one day be declared the sacred Word of God by the father of the Church.
So there we have it; if we want the resurrection of Jesus to take root in our lives, if we want to experience God’s transforming us by the renewing of our minds; then we need to read the Bible, asking the Holy Spirit to warm our hearts and bring its truth alive.