And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,
 and he took it and ate before them.
I’ve been thinking about this passage.
Is there a significance to the fact that the risen Jesus ate (or needed to)?
Recounting and recording these actions of Jesus eating would also help in years to come as other nations/cultures were evangelized. It would help to prove erroneous those philosophies that denied the possibility of body resurrection. An example of having to deal with one of these philosophies occurs in Acts 17 when Paul is preaching to the Greeks. They listen to the first part of his preaching, but * “When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered,…”* (Acts 17:32)
Although my belief is certainly not Church doctrine, per se, I believe that Jesus is engaging in an act comprising a typological word picture foreshadowing receiving the Real Presence in the Eucharist. To put it bluntly, He is engaging in an act in which we see Him symbolically consuming His Own flesh in Communion!
Evidence: In the Bible, large bodies of water comprise a symbol of the Sea of Damnable Souls. So, note: The ark keeps the saved *out of *the abyss. Genesis 7:13-23. The saved Israelites crossing the Red Sea sea bed did not even get their feet wet. Exodus 14:16, 22. Sinless Jesus walks on water, Matthew 14:25-27. Sinful Peter gets wet, Matthew 14:28-31. At Gadara, the demons exorcized into a herd of pigs go “home” to the Sea of Damnable Souls. Matthew 8:32. Just as in Acts, the Apostles’ “catch” of converts increases enormously after the resurrection, Acts 2:41, the catch of fish symbolizing damnable souls saved from the Sea of Damnable Souls increases enormously in the presence of the risen Jesus, John 21:10-11.
But Paul notices that in Scripture we often see Jesus symbolized by sin symbols, and so, at 2 Corinthians 5:21, Paul refers to Jesus as “Him made to be sin who did not know sin.” Why does Scripture do this?
Because Jesuis, though sinless, purchased grace for us by being treated as though He were Sin, itself, by taking the penalty merited by our sins upon His Own sinless back.
So, in the Book of Jonah, when we see Jonah sleeping on his boat, Jonah 1:5, then tossed into the water and swallowed by a big fish, Jonah 1:15, 2:1, and then spewed-out onto the shore after three days, Johan 2:1, 11, that is a picture of Christ the Boat Sleeper, Matthew 8:25, being killed and buried like a sinner, and then Christ rising from the dead.
Jonah beinmg swallowed by the fish is “Christ becoming sin.”
The big fish is Christ, Himself!
We can see the same big Christ Fish being caught, cooked and eaten as Communion in the Book of Tobit, Tobit 6:3-6.
In the Gospels, just as Christ’s actual body is enormously multiplied to feed the world, we see the Christ fish in the form of two fishes being enormously multiplied toi feed the world. Matthew 14:13-21. Note that Jesus blesses and breaks the fish fish, as well as the bread, as He blessed and broke the bread on Holy Thursday.
I believe that the broiling is a picture of His Own flesh being “cooked” by His Own suffering.
So, Jesus consuming the broiled fish is, ironically, a picture of Jesus receiving His Own sacrificed flesh, in the Eucharist.
Elsewhere in the gospel Jesus does, or has done, things to Himself, to dramatize.
Though sinless Jesus needs no baptism, He dramatizes OUR need to be baptized by having His sinless Self baptized. Beating the animals with the cord when He cleanses the time ios a picture by Himself of His Own scourging. So, the dynamics of my interpretation are not unprecedented.
As Mary Gail and Nita say, the fact of our Risen Lord eating broiled fish is invaluable towards proof that He was, in a human sense, truly alive … in a way we humans are able to understand - in a way which is tangible to our senses.
I try to view Christ’s Resurrection as the promise of our own resurrection and His glorified body as a promise of our own glorified body.
Death is the separation of the body from the soul. The Church speaks of our judgement in two senses: The “Particular” judgement, and the “Final” judgement ( CCC : 1021, 1022).
Here are several links expounding upon what we hold to believe when we say in the Creed, "…I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting, AMEN.
The particular judgement is what each of our souls encounter at the moment of death while the Final judgement specifically refers to the end of time.
As I understand it (and I’m certainly open to correction) at the Final Judgement we will receive a glorified human body as opposed to the one we posess in our fallen/wounded nature; that is, a body no longer subject to death or illness or certain obstacles and restrictions we experience because of them,and one which is in perfect flawless seamless harmony with the spirit, but at the same time human - as our Resurrected Lord exemplified with his eating of the broiled fish. I can’t come up with as clear a picture of those who are eternally lost ( and don’t enjoy dwelling on that particular thought either) yet there still exists a mystery surrounding all these things which prevent them from being grasped in their entirety. However, it appears to be the general gyst of Church teaching.
Here is a small excerpt from the first link, depicting how St. Augustine viewed these things:
“Perish the thought that the omnipotence of the Creator is unable, for the raising of our bodies and for the restoring of them to life, to recall all [their] parts, which were consumed by beasts or by fire, or which disintegrated into dust or ashes, or were melted away into a fluid, or were evaporated away in vapors” (The City of God 22:20:1 [A.D. 419]).
“God, the wonderful and inexpressible Artisan, will, with a wonderful and inexpressible speed, restore our flesh from the whole of the material of which it was constituted, and it will make no difference to its reconstruction whether hairs go back to hairs and nails go back to nails, or whatever of these had perished be changed to flesh and be assigned to other parts of the body, while the providence of the Artisan will take care that nothing unseemly result” (Handbook of Faith, Hope, and Charity 23:89 [A.D. 421]).
(* @ Peter Dawson: I’m also a somewhat dyslexic lefty…don’t know who I’d be able to blame if I didn’t have my trusty sticky keyboard )
I often attend Mass at a local hospital chapel, and the Benedictine priest who says Mass is a brilliant man whose homilies are real studies. Recently he was talking about Christ’s glorified body after resurrection in the light of the Gospel about meeting the Apostles in the Upper Room then asking for a piece of fish and eating it. Father’s comment was "I’ve often wondered: “What happened to the fish?”. He also said there we know of only one other glorified body and that is Mary who can seem to appear wherever she wishes. If you really listen and take the words of the Gospel seriously and apply them to your own fate it certainly impresses the mind with the mysteries of Faith and existence.
Getting back to numbers of glorified bodies, do Moses and Elijah count as such? Elijah was taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot and both appeared on a mountaintop speaking to Jesus in the presence of Peter, James and John at the time of the Transfiguration.
Never gave it much thought but after all the fish frys in Lent I would say the fish was broiled because the deep fryer was broken. However, I am not sure of the theological significance, if any, of that.
“A spirit has not flesh and bones…” - nor does it eat. Jesus was not a spirit, if by that one means a ghost: He had a real body, & the Resurrection is not Jesus playing at being risen. The passage is probably meant to counter Docetic interpretations of the Resurrection, and the sort of thinking - very common before and after - that thought of the flesh as the enemy or the tomb of the spirit; that kind of thinking, which is Platonic in inspiration, drove a wedge between “body” and “soul” - a practical result was to despise the body, and exalt the soul, as though salvation and being spiritual were the same thing. Not for St. John they aren’t - the body is as able to be redeemed as the spirit; to save the latter does not mean hating the former. The Resurrection does not save one at the expense of the other - both are raised, and raised in glory.
There are three possibilities - not two:
*]the redemption of the body - the Jewish solution as reflected in Dan.12
*]the redemption of the soul - the Platonising solution
*]the redemption of both - the Johannine and Pauline solution
[/LIST]The body of Jesus is not coarsely material, but neither is it “ghostly”: the Risen Lord is not a “spook”. His is a glorious body - it is continuous with the old one in some way, but is different. It can do things ours can’t - it’s not related to space-time (or perhaps, space-time is not related to it) in the way our unresurrected bodies are. Jesus is fully renewed & is the Renewer - we are living in the “oldness” of the unrenewed creation.
The glorified body of Jesus makes his Ascension very different from any thing we know of; it can’t be reduced to upward movement in place; & the something similar presumably goes for his eating and drinking.
Both non-Christian solutions are reductionist - and a Christian understanding expressed in words runs the risk of becoming mere words, that only very intelligent Christians can understand. Faith in Christ is not for “intellectuals” alone - it is for “wise” & “foolish” alike. It is based, not on *words *primarily, but on acts, on the mighty acts of God the Saviour. Words are secondary, not primary. And the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead is one of these mighty acts of salvation, because it is the pattern and cause of all human resurrection. It is not a “conjuring trick with bones”: for it is far more than that. Jesus was not re-animated either - he was dead as a doornail. His Resurrection is nothing less than the first begionning of a new creation, one that begins within the old & is to replace it. Re-animation is a return to the life previously possessed - the Resurrection of Jesus is the entrance of a radically new & unimaginable life into the old creation, And this life is that by which He lives, & in which those who belong to Him share - in computing jargon, the Resurrection life is the “default” life of the Christian; and all His post-Resurrection life on earth is a way of sharing it.
The Gospels, including John’s, are very fond of references to the Messianic Banquet. John’s Gospel contains many references to Baptism and the Eucharist; & this passage is almost certainly a veiled reference to the table-fellowship of Jesus with his Apostles. He eats with them on earth, in time & space where* they* are, in anticipation of the Banquet that He will eat with them when the Kingdom of His Father is fully realised in all creation, & “the kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ” (Rev.11.15). John, like Matthew, has many references to kingship - Jesus is the King, and he is king here: this eating with his Apostles is a royal scene, because the Banquet is a royal feast, his marriage-feast. By His Resurrection, by which all things are being “made new”, the future glory is already a present & living fact; that meal with the Apostles ***is ***the Banquet - not thei fullness of it, but the pledge and proof that it is certain with the certainty of God to be fulfilled (this Gospel is full of predestination too).