Every time I break this bread I am reminded of Jesus walking with the disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24. Jesus finds these disciples walking away from Jerusalem and giving up on whatever they thought Jesus was doing. Jesus takes the time to walk with them and encourage and teach them but for whatever reason they do not recognize Jesus. When the day gets late these discouraged disciples invite Jesus to eat with them. Jesus breaks bread with them and in that moment the disciple’s eyes are opened to his identity and presence. The revelation of Christ’s presence prompts these disciples to return to Jerusalem and continue God’s work in faith.
I speak these words quietly every time I break bread at the Eucharist. “Be known to us Lord in the breaking of this bread”. The fraction and the silence that follows is our road to Emmaus moment. It is a moment to perceive with the eyes and ears of faith that God is with us.
Following the silence, the priest says, [Alleluia.] Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.
And the people respond, therefore let us keep the feast. [Alleluia.]
This is a joyful response to God’s presence and work. God is inviting us into His feast. The sacrifice of Christ has been made joyful because of the redemption that it brings. We are now invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb! (Revelation 19:9). We are guests of honor personally invited by our Lord. This is why we can enthusiastically say, Alleluia! Praise the Lord!