Catch of the day
Luke 24: 36-43 (NRSVA)
36 While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ 37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38 He said to them, ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate in their presence.
Isn’t it wonderful how Jesus invites his disciples to come closer? To touch and feel his ‘flesh and bones’.
Was it a conventional handshake, a big bear hug or did the disciples literally stick their hands into his wounds, like Thomas?
In a time when we are deprived of physical contact most dream of being unified with their children and grandchildren, friends and extended family. I mean, we literally can’t wait to be reunited with our dear ones, can we?
To be restored.
A second chance to reconnect with those that give us special meaning.
This notion reminded me of a story I recently heard. A rabbi faced a challenging situation as a voluntary substitute teacher at an All-boys’ Primary School. One pupil’s watch was stolen during recess and subsequently the rabbi had everyone lined up so he could search their pockets. They were instructed to keep their eyes closed to protect the culprit’s dignity.
The watch was eventually found. But the crook got off the hook. He was neither scolded nor shamed, but important lessons were learnt.
Years later the perpetrator had become a teacher himself and decided to visit the rabbi.
“Why on earth did you allow me to go scot-free,” he asked.
“Well,’ said the Rabbi, “I too, was blindfolded on that day.’
Isn’t it beautiful. The greatest miracle to ever be performed is the forgiveness of sins. It’s grace. To be allowed close to Jesus. To touch and feel His love for you.
No matter what you have done, his invitation stands forever. He looks past your iniquities and flaws and brokenness and sees you for who you really are — a child of the living King.
I too am a sinner, Lord.
So search my heart and make me clean.
I want to feel your love comfort me when I’m far from those I want to hug.
This love that keeps loving despite my inability to love as you have loved me.
“You are my greatest catch,” I ponder, before I come to the stark realisation that actually:
I, [enter you name here], am YOUR greatest catch, Lord.