Fifth Station

Disciples Breaking Of The Bread

Fifth Station

A discussion about recognizing Jesus in the breaking of bread and the importance of inviting Him into our lives.

They recognized him in the breaking of the bread

Christ is risen! Alleluia! He is truly risen! Alleluia! Welcome, brothers and sisters, to Avia Luci’s Station Five. In today’s gospel, the disciples recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread. So they drew near to the village to which they were going, and He appeared to be going further, but they constrained Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is now far spent.” So He went in to stay with them. When He was at table with them, He took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him. And He vanished out of their sight.

The disciples, along with Jesus, arrived at the village of Emmaus. Today, archaeology finds three possible places where this village was, back in the day, but there is no consensus where exactly Emmaus was. That might be also a spiritual dimension and a message for us that everywhere where the breaking of the bread, the Eucharist, is being celebrated, Emmaus is present. Jesus makes Himself known.

As we heard in today’s passage, Jesus pretended as if He was going further, but they constrained Him, even using a strong Greek word as if twisting His arm, saying, “Please, we beg You, stay with us. We want You to stay overnight in this location because something happened in our hearts when You spoke and explained the scriptures to us.”

Our Lord likes, if I may use this term, to be constrained, to be invited, even to be forced. He doesn’t want to impose Himself, so He pretends as if He’s going further, indicating, or maybe even begging for our attention, saying, “Please, show some interest in having Me in your life, at your table.” And so, pulling His sleeve, we may look at it like that: they said, “Please stay with us. Stay with us for evening draws near. Stay with us, Lord.”

Do you recall the interpretation that Jesus Christ gives to the Spirit with which we are meant to pray? He speaks about a widow who was going to the unjust judge, saying and begging and crying, “Please do justice to me against my adversary,” or a friend who came at night to his own friend who was already behind the doors with the doors securely locked, saying, “Please open up to me and give me some loaves because I have visitors who just arrived.” Banging, praying, knocking, twisting arms – it’s an attitude of perseverance, an attitude of faith that God likes to see.

When they sat at the table, it’s no longer the disciples inviting Jesus, but He is the one who invites them to the celebration, to the breaking of the bread. And during this process of breaking of the bread, looking at Him, their eyes were open. Jesus opened their eyes. His life was breaking Himself for His disciples and for everyone, even for His enemies, giving Himself completely, offering His life, being a self-donation to all the people everywhere He went. He was giving Himself.

In this gesture of the breaking of the bread, they recognized Christ. He’s alive. But breaking, giving them to eat, Jesus feeds us spiritually, nourishing our hearts, given we have a relationship with Christ based on growing life and happiness from Him, sustaining us so when He’s breaking His life and giving Himself, not just for show, but for us to consume Him, to bring Him into our lives.

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