Family Meals

4 May

The two recounted what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread.  (Lk 24:35)

On the road to Emmaus, Jesus was made known to the disciples in the breaking of the bread.

That breaking of bread — the sharing of a meal — is such an important symbol to us as Christians.  We all know how important sharing meals can be.  We have gone through many of them.  Meals are shared in special ways on birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, or holidays.  They are also shared at special events such as promotions, the birth of a new child, or sacramental moments.

When family and friends get together, they share much with one another.  They share food, they share experiences, they share beliefs and values.

The gathering of family and friends can be very affirming.

When the disciples huddled for a hasty dinner on that road to Emmaus, they did so in fear and panic.  They were fleeing Jerusalem because Jesus had been killed and they were frightened that they might be next.  They left with little hope and with much dread.

Encountering Jesus on the road, they did not even recognize Him.  Yet, as He spoke to them, their hearts began to burn and to yearn.  They knew something special was happening even though they could not identify what it was.  It was when they sat down for the meal that their eyes were opened.  Jesus broke bread with them, as He did at the Last Supper, and they recognized Him.

We recognize the love of family and friends when we gather together.  We also recognize something more:  that God is in our midst, blessing us and speaking to us through our family and friends.

As a people of faith, we realize that we have more than one family.  While our biological family may be primary, we also have the family of believers of which we are members.  That faith family is just as important to us, in many ways, as our biological family.  In all the family situations we find ourselves in, we are challenged to see the Lord.  Because, truly, He is there.

FAITH ACTION:  Pray for your families today — your biological family, your extended family, your family of faith — and ask God to bless the members of your families richly.