Sunday, May 8, 2011

Word and Eucharist

Today's Gospel (Luke 24: 13-35) is the well-known story of the encounter between Jesus and the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. We often focus on the idea of them coming to know Him "in the breaking of the bread" and speak about the importance of Eucharist. I would like to go on a different track - the importance of the Word, which Jesus Himself emphasized.
You see, Jesus spent a good deal of time with them as they waled along, asking them questions and then explaining the writings of the prophets. Yet during all this time they did not realize that He was present. They failed to recognize Him in His words. Imagine how different the conversation would have been if they realized Who it was speaking to them as they walked along the road! Certainly the Lord was truly present, yet they did not realize it. In reflecting on this, I began to realize that we do the same thing. So often we are so casual about the Word of God, as contained in Sacred Scripture, failing to realize that it God Himself who is speaking to us. We give such honor and deference to the Eucharist, and well we should. But what about God's Holy Word? How do we treat the Bible? Does it occupy a place of honor in our homes? Is it given the same prominence that we would give the Eucharist if we were privileged to be able to have the Body and Blood of Christ present in our home? Do we honestly realize that God is speaking to us when we read Scripture?
I think we are really very much like those two disciples. We go along and do not recognize Christ as He speak to us on our own journey. Only when we participate in the "breaking of the Bread" do we realize that Jesus is truly present. Maybe it is time to re-think our approach to the Bible. Imagine that it was written by God Himself just for you. Imagine that God sent it to you so that you could understand Him better. Imagine that it is the most valuable writing in the world. And as you imagine all this, realize that it is not your imagination - all of these things are true. Now, what do you want to do with your Bible?

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