Imagine that! The image of the One you had followed for years and whom you saw mocked and brutally murdered and laid in the tomb, lifeless, now stands before you asking for something to eat. What does it all mean?
Peter is forthright in his Pentecost message. He has just been touched by the Holy Spirit and speaks with the gifts he has received: Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Fortitude, Counsel, Piety and Fear of the Lord. He does not hold back in accusing the crowd of denying the Holy and Righteous One but, at the same time, recognizes that you acted out of ignorance. That doesn’t relieve them of any guilt. They are still subject to the slavery of sin but God raised Him from the dead and through this action offers remediation not only for putting to death the author of life, but for all their sins. Repent and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away. These are bold words, indeed!
Can this be the same Peter who denied Christ three times as he followed him through the courts? Is this the same Peter who wanted to protect Jesus from His fate and was rebuked by Jesus, “Get behind Me, satan!?” What changed him? They gave Him a piece of baked fish; He took it and ate it in front of them. Ghosts don’t eat. Visions don’t eat. Hallucinations don’t eat. Jesus is alive! He is different but the same. He is with us again but then He disappears. What does it all mean?
He lives – not just as the person, Jesus Christ, the one who walked the earth teaching and preaching about God’s mercy – but in us, and with us, and through us. He lives in us through the Holy Eucharist. He lives with us through prayer and the Sacraments. He lives through us as long as we believe in Him and live our lives in union with Him, and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, share His Mercy. He is alive! He lives forever, not alone, but in us, with us, and through us and, in that same way, His Mercy endures forever!