They Recognized Him in The Breaking of Bread
In the story about the disciples of Emmaus, it is interesting to note that after hours of walking and listening to Jesus, they did not know who He was. They did not recognize Him, even as He interpreted for them the Scriptures; they did not recognize Him, even when their hearts where “burning within them” on the way. It was only when Jesus “took the bread, broke it, and gave it to them” that their eyes where opened.
Why? Because this event is unique to Jesus. Others before and after Him explained the Scriptures, not only to the people of their times, but also to us. We also feel good when we listen to others; yet no one did what Jesus did that night in Emmaus. It is the same that we continue to do at each Mass: “He took the bread, broke it, and gave it to them . . .”
This phrase goes beyond a simple interpretation. It is the very plan of salvation that Jesus has for us.
He took the Bread: It is more than just taking bread; it is God Himself who became human, and so offers His life to us. It is the Body of Christ. It is His very life. He is like us who have life, but with the difference that His life is made holy by His union with God, and also because He offered His life for us.
He broke it: Jesus offers his life for us. In His death, His body was broken for us. There is a difference between Jesus and most of us. You and I try to preserve our lives, while Jesus offered Himself up to death for us. His death has only one rea- son: our life and our salvation. This is the great act of love of God: that He gave His only begotten Son to us and for us.
He gave it to them: The plan of salvation is not complete with- out receiving Jesus. Jesus became human, He lived and He died, and He came back to life, but that is not all! Our salvation is complete when He offers us the opportunity to receive Him, to receive Him in our lives, to receive His Body and His Blood in Holy Communion. This fact makes the life of Jesus unique, because all that He does is for us, nothing in His life is for Himself, but from the very moment of His existence in the flesh, everything is ordered for our salvation.
Now, here is the question for each of us: what do we do with what He has given us, that which we have received from Him? Do we recognize Him in the Breaking of Bread? Do we realize that He is the One who died for us and gave His life that we might have life?
I encourage you, like the disciples of Emmaus, to see and to know the Lord Jesus in your lives, and see how in every single moment He is with us, even when we are restrained from rec- ognizing Him. He walks and will continue to walk with us, that we may have life and have it abundantly.