3rd Sunday of Easter 2006
Isn’t spring in New England so beautiful, even if a bit chilly? God’s creation is so stunning! Especially the flowering trees. It’s enough to take your breath away! And of course sometimes it does with the pollen that comes from the trees. (Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good!) God’s creation is so beautiful, all the time but there is something about Spring…
Speaking of the beauty of God’s creation, I have also witnessed these past three days some of the beauty of human creation in the BC Arts festival.
For the past three days people had the opportunity to see many expressions of the human spirit in the works of artists at Boston College. Our eyes were opened to the beauty of this world through the vision of artists, musicians, poets, dancers, photographers, sculptors, painters and many more. These works of artist’s imaginations express the soul of those who have created them. But it is the body that makes this possible. An artist has the vision, the inspiration but it is the body that lets him or her create and give life to that vision. With hands and fingers the musician plays her instrument. With his lips the trumpteter sounds his instrument. Dancers use the whole body, arms and legs, hands and feet,, the whole body gives expression to the vision of the choreographer. Hands of the sculptor, voices of the poet and the singer, the eyes of the photographer and visual artist. It is the body that allows us to create such beauty.
What we have just heard in the gospel is that the experience of Risen Jesus that the disciples had comes through his body. Jesus tells them that it is really him, not a ghost. He says, touch me, see my hands and my feet. It is the body that reveals the astonishing reality that he has been raised from the dead.
During this festival we have seen written all over the words of St. Ignatius of Loyola the founder of the Jesuits. “Set the world aflame” St. Ignatius had a vision that enabled him to see the world alive with the divine spark in all things, a spark that could become a flame of love and passion for the world. Ignatius invites us to be co-creators with God. But God knows better than anyone that we need our bodies to create and to continue to create the beauty that God began in creation. And so, God chooses to take for himself, human flesh and blood in the life of Jesus Christ. God invites us to see the possibility of creating a world of beauty and compassion. God gives us Jesus who invites us into a relationship with him. Jesus who asks us to share his body and blood, his mission for the kingdom of God is the one who says “here I am for you” It is really me.
In the gospel, when the disciples are still incredulous at the appearance of his transformed body of jesus, what does he do? He asks for something to eat? He knows that there is nothing more human than eating and drinking together. It is the human action that bound him to his disciples and friends in his life. It’s what finally convinces them that he is really with them and for them. He does the same for us today in this Eucharist. Now he asks us, Do you have something to eat? Yes, we do> We have something to eat and drink which is the bread come from heaven and the cup of salvation. And is the real presence of the body and blood of Christ.
Springtime is a beautiful season that reminds us of God’s exquisite creation. But in Jesus we too are God’s work of art.