In the breaking of the bread

And Jesus was known in the breaking of the bread.  The Gospel reading last Sunday comes from Luke and talks about how the disciples were slow to believe that Christ had risen.  They were so focused on what was going on in their lives that they didn’t even recognize Christ when he walked with them to Emmaus.  It was only after He had blessed and broken bread (in the same manner he had done just a few days earlier at the Last Supper) that they realized He was with them.  It was in the breaking of the bread that they realized Christ was still within their midst.

In the mass we have every Monday night as a JVC community with Padre Oscar (in English) we reread the Gospel from Sunday, because Padre thinks it has such a powerful message.  It stops you and makes you think about where Christ is found.  A quick side note: for the homily in these masses Padre usually gives us a few thoughts and then asks us for how we feel or think so it normally becomes a discussion of the Gospel instead of a homily, and therefore some of these thoughts may be co-opted from my community mates.   Before He died Jesus told the disciples that He would rise, that he would be with them again in this world and the next.  But they were slow to believe, as they were most of the time.  It’s amazing how dense the disciples could be at times.  For us, how many times during the day do we come face to face with Christ, but can’t or don’t see Him?  We are all called to be Christ-like and we know that Christ works though us, so why are we slow to recognize all the ways in which Christ talks to us in our day-to-day?  He is in the child who runs into the comedor to hug me, or in the community mate who sparks a change in thinking, or in the mother who comes to ask us for medication because her child is ill.  Christ is in everyone and everything, but we often fail to recognize Him.  We become so wrapped up, like the disciples, with what we can see/hear/feel that we fail to acknowledge the risen Christ in the physical world we inhabit.

But I think Jesus knew all this.  He know how dense his disciples could be, he knew that if they could deny him while he was alive as Peter did three times, that they would have a hard time recognizing Him in the world after the resurrection.  I think for this he left us tools to remember His gift to the world.  And as is pertinent to this gospel reading, the breaking of the bread is a wonderful celebration left for us so that we may come to know Christ better in the breaking of the break.  “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me. (Lk 22:19) ”  In this action we are remembering Christ, and in this action we recognize Christ in the breaking of the bread.  We celebrate the Eucharist every day all over the world, but often we forget this global community as we leave mass.  We just finished celebrating the breaking of the bread in the manner in which Jesus showed us, but we forget that it is in this breaking of bread He is known.  We leave this recognition in church, and forget that the Eucharist is not the only way Jesus reveals Himself.  While the breaking of the bread can be the “ah-ha” moment of duh, this is Jesus, we must remember that He is walking with us along the camino of life; He is with us in everyone we interact with, in everything that we do, in all that we are.