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This Week at St Mary’s

Eating Because we can

 We don’t seem to talk much about the resurrected body of Jesus. The Gospel accounts draw out how intrigued the eyewitnesses were with it. A ghost or spirit? No – it had real physicality, it could be touched and was recognisably the Jesus they had known. Some aspects were the same, others were different, ie not tied to time and space rules as we know them. 

Traditional Christian understanding is that, when God renews everything, a resurrected body similar to Jesus’ will be His gift to those ‘in Christ’. Christians see ‘having faith’ to mean we live NOW as things will be in God’s future. How might the prospect of a resurrected body affect how we live in the present? 

I find inspiring Michael Simmonds Roberts’ poem Food for Risen Bodies – II. It ends, ‘he eats because he can, and wants to / taste the scales, the moist flakes of the sea, / to rub the salt into his wounds.’ He asks us to imagine Jesus after His resurrection eating a barbecued fish, the crisp skin and the tender, succulent fresh fish which melts deliciously in the mouth, but also salt being rubbed into Jesus’ wounds. 

 Each will interpret this as it speaks to us. For me, the resurrected body will eat for reasons other than to keep body and soul together – this is not (as the poem says) hunger, this is resurrection. To eat is a social act, to be joined in the richest bonds of friendship. That’s something to be lived out, today. Salt in the wounds of Christ opens how, even in a renewed world, Christ’s suffering and death continues to be the key to unlock transformation. I pray to be left a little more willing to be vulnerable about my suffering and to draw close to the suffering of others. 

See Corpus published by Cape Poetry 

Tom Gillum

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