Someone untimely reborn
He was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures... he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than 500 of the brothers and sisters at one time...then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to someone untimely born, he appeared also to me. [1 Corinthians 15: 4-8]
Over these coming days of Easter the Church guides us to the different accounts of Jesus appearing to his disciples. Mary will meet him in a garden. John will stare at an empty tomb and understand. Cleopas and his friend will tell of a stranger who walked the road with them, making their hearts burn with wonder. A breakfast will await Simon Peter and his companions after a long and fruitless night fishing. The stories are told and the season moves on. Meanwhile many wait for their own Easter.
‘Last of all’, Paul writes, ‘he appeared also to me’. The Jesus of the Gospels always seemed to see the one at the back of the crowd. He sat down to eat with those other people had written off. Paul never got over how he – a man set on destruction – was welcomed and healed, as ‘someone untimely born’.
Though Paul felt himself last in terms of deserving, he was not last in order of appearance. Easter breaks at the unexpected moment for unexpected people...often when they are lost, burdened or alone.
May he surprise you afresh with welcome.
May he come walking on the waters of your fears.
May he spread a table for you when you are hungry for love and belonging.
May he walk with you in your loss and confusion
May you be someone untimely reborn.