Christianity is not a religion of the head. If it were, then only the clever people could become holy while the rest of us would remain on the edges as we struggled to use our few wits to try and work out what our religion was all about. It would be a philosophy, a body of knowledge, accessible only to the intelligent.

No, Christianity is about the five senses. It’s a body-religion, a sensing faith. It uses sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. In doing this it simply continues what Jesus himself did when He ate and drank, was bathed in the Jordan, laid hands on people, used paste to cure the blind man etc.

There is a slightly comic aspect to today’s Gospel when Jesus scares the wits out of the disciples and then simply asks, “Have you anything here to eat?” And this is just one of several times after the Resurrection that Jesus appears to them and starts eating. Maybe it’s no coincidence that St Luke is trying to teach us that the primary way we meet Christ today after His resurrection is when we eat and drink His body and blood. The Eucharist is the action of the Church in which Christ becomes present in many ways but most clearly in the act of communion.

And, of course, we recall His presence by using all five of our senses. That’s why the Church uses water to baptise, why we make the Sign of the Cross with it, why we sprinkle it during some services. It’s why we lay hands on the sick, why we make music to God, why we anoint people with oil when they are baptised, confirmed, ordained or weakened by sickness.It explains why some people use incense to beautify their worship and others put out a mass of blazing candles and wear colourful vestments. It is all about worshipping God with our whole person, body as well as mind, about recognising Christ with all the faculties that God has given us.
It goes without saying that our five senses do not exist apart from us, on some shelf where we take them down. They are part and parcel of us. It’s people who incarnate sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. That’s why the best way of ensuring that Christ is present in our world is to carry Him around in ourselves. This must be what Jesus meant today when He said, “You are witnesses to this.”