Recognition Comes in the Breaking of the Bread

April 26, 2020

It is a powerful Easter story that comes to us today.  It is the road to Emmaus.  Many great things happen on the road and the culmination of the journey finds the disciples sharing the table with Jesus where He takes the bread, blesses it and breaks it, giving it to them.  In that moment their eyes are opened and their hearts are filled with an incredible joy.  This scripture passage is one that has changed my life.  The recognition of Jesus in the Breaking of the Bread is where I find my prayer life strengthened.  In that action, Jesus is shared not as a possession to have and hold, but He is shared as a meal to feed and nourish the very soul of our being.  So profound an action, so powerful an image that at every celebration of the Eucharist we have that same action, the Breaking of the Bread.  It is humbling as a priest to break the bread and be a part of that action.  It is wonder and awe for me that my Lord and Savior longs to be shared and longs to be offered as food to nourish.

While I could go on and on about this, there is another part of the journey that is also worth looking at, especially in these times.  The disciples along the way are given insights by Jesus as He walks with them.  He opens the Scriptures up to them.  Their hearts are burning for what they are hearing.  Jesus was present to them in the moment, in the now.  Their hearts were not burning to go back to the way things were.  They were burning for His presence in the now, in that moment.  It is good for us to realize Jesus wants to walk with us in this moment, in the now.  He is not leading us to go back to the way things were, He is leading us to the new way and the way things will be moving forward.  This positive energy, this recognition gives the disciples the energy to run all the way back in the dark to meet up with others and tell them about all that took place.  They were different and their hearts were open with desire to know that Jesus did not abandon them or leave them behind.  We are invited to live in the now.

A friend of mine recently shared that he wrote a letter on Easter to his children and grandchildren.  It was a great message of what we can learn in this present moment.  It was about the blessings of family, about appreciating the things we can share.  This time is a gift to take a step back and reflect, to take it all in and learn from it, and a time to trust that God has a plan.  His greatest hope is that this time will bring them all closer to God.

We can all live in the now and allow what is in our heart to be shared with family members, children, grandchildren and our neighbors.  Jesus is walking with us whether we recognize Him or not.  Lots of things happen on the road and it is time to look ahead with hope.

As the journey continues, may it find us in prayer that this journey will bring us closer to Him,

Reverend  John J. Ouper