In this week's episode of "Life, Love, & Light," we discuss the epilogue to the gospel of John, in which the Risen Jesus appears to seven disciples as they return from a frustrating night of fishing on Lake Tiberias. This resurrection appearance includes another miraculous catch of fish, a breakfast with Jesus on the beach, and a poignant conversation between the Lord and Peter, in which the disciple who denied Jesus three times is given the opportunity to affirm his love three times.
Then we examine repeated attempts at "alternative interpretations" of all Christ's appearances that have challenged faith in his bodily resurrection. Most Christians probably do believe that Jesus really died, that his tomb was empty, and that he came back to life. But how many Christians have really considered in what way he came back to life? Was it a resuscitation, only a spiritual resurrection of his soul, or a vision of a different Jesus altogether? Are the resurrection appearances merely pious legends or pre-scientific myths? Did the disciples truly believe that Jesus had risen in a glorified body? Or did they simply "feel" the continuing presence of the Lord in their midst? Does the New Testament language of the evangelists and of Paul really mean what it says? Or was the crucial "resurrection" event what happened to the disciples and not what happened to Jesus at all? Or does Jesus only live on in the salvific preaching of the church? We delve into these and other modern and postmodern interpretations and then consider the earliest creedal formulations in the four gospels, in the letters of St. Paul, and in the Acts of the Apostles to discover the bedrock of our faith: What Christ's Resurrection really means. Blessings to all!
Please Note: This fourth season of podcasts is drawn from my book "Living Resurrected Lives: What it Means and Why it Matters," co-authored by my daughter, Eva Natanya PhD. It won a 2021 Catholic Media Association Book Award for Contemporary Spirituality and is available from the publisher, Wipf & Stock, and from Amazon worldwide: https://smile.amazon.com/Living-Resurrected-Lives-Means-Matters/dp/1725253240/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1645836812&sr=8-2