Imagining the Gospel: Disciples Share a Meal with the Risen Christ

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“Imagining the Gospel Scene” is a series from the Jesuit Media Lab. On occasional Sundays throughout this liturgical year, creators in the JML community will respond to the day’s Gospel passage through the practice of Ignatian contemplation, or what is sometimes called “imaginative prayer.”

In his Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius of Loyola invites participants to place ourselves in Gospel scenes using the imagination, relying on our senses to develop a distinctive, personal perspective on a given story — and thereby getting to know Christ better. After praying with the Gospel using their imaginations, our contributors will create a piece of art flowing from their experience — a painting, poem, short story, song, photograph or work in another medium.

Today’s installment is a poem titled “While We Were Talking” by Mary Grace Mangano.

Third Sunday of Easter: April 14, 2024
Luke 24:35-48

The amazed disciples share a breakfast of baked fish with the resurrected Christ.

While We Were Talking

Well, first of all, if we’d told anyone
about it — what we saw, I mean — they would
have said we were insane. Just days ago,
we crouched in third floor corners, thinking we
were next. In pain — the kind that eats you inside
out ­— we just had to leave and so we left
the minute that the coast was clear. And then —?
a ghost appears? I thought it was a trick,
deliriousness from fatigue and fear.
But He says, “Peace,” and actually, my mind
was clear. So clear. In fact, I think He knew.
And if you asked me how it felt to touch
His hands or feet, I’d give you every detail
and you could paint them, torn and bruised, but warm.
I felt like crying then. And if you asked
me now, I’d say that joy is baked fish,
well, sharing it, I mean. And maybe more,
but, actually, I think that covers it.
It’s just that — nothing made sense! And my heart
was burning. So, we had to tell you, right
away. It all just happened on the way.

Artwork:  “Appearance to the Apostles while at Table,” Duccio di Buoninsegno, public domain