Friday in the Octave of Easter
(Acts 4:1-12; John 21:1-14)
Ken Untener was bishop of Saginaw, Michigan, for twenty-four years. He organized the diocese so well that he found time to give workshops on preaching nation-wide. A few years ago a book of his homilies was published posthumously. It was entitled My Name Is Ken and I Will Be Your Waiter a Long, Long Time. The name “Jesus” might be substituted for “Ken” to understand today’s gospel.
Like a waiter, Jesus has food prepared for his guests. He will be serving his disciples until the end of time. The food that he gives them here -- bread and fish – is representative of himself. It indicates how Jesus nourishes different dimensions of his disciples’ lives. First, it is regular food. As the Lord of creation, Jesus feeds his disciples’ bodies literally every day. Then it is the “bread of life.” Jesus gives “food for thought” by enlightening their minds with true wisdom. Finally, it is food for their souls – Jesus’ own body and blood. This food enables them to love as he loved so that they may have eternal life.
For eight consecutive days we are fed in the Eucharist with an account of a resurrection appearance. These stories fortify our faith so that we might live as humans recreated in divine love. The world challenges us daily -- physically, mentally, and spiritually. By holding fast to our Easter faith we can overcome its wiles.