“Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of bread.”

This Sunday, as we did during the octave of Easter, we read Luke’s account of Jesus appearing to His disciples in the upper room (Lk 24:35-48).  As the two disciples who met Jesus on the road to Emmaus, having returned hastily to Jerusalem, are recounting their experience to the Eleven, Jesus appears in the midst of all of them.  They think they are seeing a ghost but Jesus admonishes them for their unbelief, telling them to observe His wounds and inviting them to touch Him if they must.  He even asks for and eats a piece of fish.  He then enlightens them to the Scriptures and tells them that “repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (v. 47) is to be preached to all nations.  The words at top reflect what was revealed a few verses earlier (vv. 30-31): it was not until the meal at the end of the Emmaus Road episode that Jesus was recognized as who He was after which He immediately disappears.  This event is an important part of understanding the Eucharist as the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ.  To the two disciples, Jesus disappeared in His human form, but did not leave them; He was now present in sacrament.  In this early Mass (the first celebrated after the Last Supper), Jesus honors their request to “stay with us” (v. 29), as He honors it to this day and forever per His closing words of St. Matthew’s gospel “I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Mt 28:20).  Let us never miss an opportunity to meet the Lord in adoration and receive Him worthily at Mass.

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