They knew him in the breaking of bread. That’s also, my dear people, how we come to know the Lord, here receiving the bread of life, listening to his Word, and praying as one. So as we prepare to break the break of Christ and his Word, lets confess any ways we may have failed to live his love in our lives.
Once I baptized adults of various ages and nationalities at the Easter vigil. Beforehand I asked an adult what she looked forward to. She said “receiving Christ”. After her baptism and communion I asked how she felt. “For the first time I feel real peace within” she said. Today’s gospel says the same thing.
The apostles were in despair when they broke bread with Christ. But in communion and his opening of the scriptures their faith was restored. Going to mass routinely we can forget how great it is to break bread and break open the Word here ever Sunday. Each mass is a journey to Emmaus. Each Sunday at mass we journey with the Lord and if we celebrate mass well, coming our hearts will also be burning within us with the Word and the Bread of life that we have received from the very heart of God himself.
For its through communing with Christ here, that we’re filled with a faith and hope that’s carries us into and through every ensuing week. Life is full of problems. Weekly communion with the Lord and his word gives us the spiritual depth to bear all that through the seven days in the busy world that follows. For here at Sunday mass we share in His final victory over sin suffering and death. Here with our brothers and sisters in Christ, we grow in the life of God, are united with the saints in glory, and become one with the local and universal church. What a gift!
When we go up to communion, the minister says “the body of Christ” and we answer amen. We affirm the host as His body and that we are His body gathered as one. So mass is Christian life in essence and its best celebrated on Sunday, the day he rose from the dead; the Sunday mass is the mass.
We need to meet every Sunday to be and receive his body. Regardless of our faults and sins, our work and responsibilities, or how tired we are, let’s find time for attending that weekly Eucharist with devotion and dedication. Work and ambition is important, for we have to live in this world, and earn our bread by the sweat of our brow, and support our families well. But we mustn’t let excessive worldliness rob us of our larger destiny, the salvation of our souls. The deepest happiness for this life comes from union with God and that’s best achieved in the mass. If we didn’t eat physically we’d die. In the same way without holy communion we’d grow thin within, easy prey to Satan’s wiles.
Our mass-going ancestors realized this, worshipping at mass rocks or walking over ditches barefoot to mass; they endured every hardship and persecution to be with the Lord; He was there for them, they wanted to be there for Him. They knew the Lord living presence in the breaking bread, in scripture and in communal prayer was irreplaceable; that without this they were Christians in name only, without this the faith was bound to fade away in their hearts in the long run; as Christ said, “unless you eat my body, you will not have life in you”; but when we do eat it we are already part of eternal life here and sure to be raised up when he comes again at last. For though our work in this world is important it eventually fades to dust but Christ in the Eucharist and the Word is lord of love, peace, happiness and salvation both for this world and forever and ever amen.
So as the body of Christ gathered here, breaking bread and listening to his word every Sunday as our ongoing life, peace and salvation lets make our profession of faith..
Prayers of the Faithful
We pray for our holy father the Pope and all the leaders of the church that they may lead all to an ever richer appreciation of the presence of the Lord in the Breaking of Bread.
For civic leaders that they may serve the people well, especially the poor and vulnerable in society.
For ourselves, may we never drift from meeting the lord in our weekly Eucharist but, cherish that union more than life itself.
For our youth that realizing their need for regular communion with the lord and his body the local church community, it may become as essential to them as it was for our great ancestors.
For the sick, the aged, and the housebound; through our bringing of holy communion to them they may know our care and the infinite comfort of Christ, present with them in each Eucharist.
For the dead; having broken the Bread of Life and the Word here, may they achieve all that they signify in eternal happiness.
And we ask all these prayers through the Risen Christ who constantly pleads for us before the throne of God.
I was reading recently about some to the believers in the Nazi concentration camps, such as Max Kolbe. They hoarded bits of bread and drops of wine for weekly mass, even though starving to death. For them the Eucharist nourished them more than any food could in a bleak secular Nazi hell. They didn’t just survive through union with the Lord but transcended all that man-made secular hell could throw at them; they were the ones alive in that camp, their captors were the ones dead; for to be dead inside is death indeed. Lets all appreciate the Eucharist as they did and pray to our mother Mary for a loving devotion to the mass and communion, making the effort to come every Sunday to the table of the Lord without fail..Hail Mary.