Sunday Reflections

3rd Sunday of Easter – April 14, 2024

Reflection by:

Reflection by:

Fr. Jim Donohue, CR

Things are not always as they appear. In the gospel, the Risen Jesus asks His disciples for some food. In the Greek it is phrased: “You give me something to eat.” Interestingly, this is a similar demand that Jesus gave the disciples earlier in Luke’s gospel when the disciples wanted to send the crowds away without eating. Here Jesus said, “You give them something to eat.” In this earlier passage, Luke had described the crowds as in need of healing. Now, it is the Risen Jesus who shows the disciples His wounds and asks them to feed Him. The Risen Jesus identifies with the hungry and the wounded. He asks us to continue to feed Him in our outreach to others.

I have shared this story before, but I think it is worth sharing again because of its practical relevance to this gospel.

There was a man I encountered whenever I would go to Morogoro to get food and supplies. He wore the same brown shirt and pants with no shoes. He looked like he badly needed a shower. I could see that he had some mental/emotional challenges. Whenever he would see our Resurrectionist van, he would wait by the van until I returned from shopping. When he saw me, he would put out his hand and stare at me. When I gave him some money, he would never say anything. He would simply turn and walk away. I became increasingly irritated that he kept finding me and never said “thank you.” I cannot tell you exactly what happened one day, but suddenly I saw him differently. I realized that he was the face of Christ and that I was an absolute jerk. It struck me how I was expecting this poor, intellectually challenged man to be grateful for my small acts of charity. I was embarrassed that I had approached this situation with this “mental image” and promised myself that I would do better. Every time I saw him after this “awakening” I tried to treat him differently. I would look him in the eye, and I would smile and ask him in Swahili how he was. Once he smiled back. I think this because I gave him more money than usual that day. But that was fine. I saw in his smile, the smile of Christ that said, “Jim, you still have a long way to go if you are to see as I see, and to act as I act.”

Photo Credit:  statue entitled “When I Was Hungry & Thirsty” by Timothy P. Schmalz,  www.sculpturebytps.com/

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