THE BREAKING OF THE BREAD (LUKE
They recognized Christ in the
breaking of the bread. Christ had walked and talked and eaten with
His disciples; now He walked with them and they did not recognize
Him. Christ stayed so many years with the Israelites, who knew and
even memorized the Scriptures, but they did not recognize Him. The
Scribes knew every prophecy about Christ but when the prophecies
were fulfilled, they did not recognize Him. Why? Because Christ can
only be recognized through the breaking of the bread.
Their eyes were opened and they
knew Him when He broke the bread. Christ broke the bread. Breaking
is understood to mean He underwent grave humiliations through His
obedience to God's will. Breaking of the bread means breaking one's
own will to do God's will. It is the emptying or the diminishing of
oneself. And to break bread with Christ is, for us, like the
disciples, to diminish ourselves by a life of humility through
obedience to Christ's commands. . .this way our eyes will be opened
and we shall know Him and His teachings.
There is a part in the Sacrifice of
the Mass wherein the priest breaks the host into three parts; that
symbolizes the breaking of the bread and an invitation to all
Christians to break bread with Christ by themselves breaking their
pride by denying their will and doing God's will instead.
Balaam heard the words of God and
saw visions of the Almighty. And so with the Israelites who saw the
wonders of God in the desert. But they remained ignorant of God and
His commands. Why? Because they did not know Him through the
breaking of the bread. God and Christ can only be known through the
breaking of the bread.
It is the same today: Christ and
His teachings cannot be known through books, lectures, seminars. . .
not even through a theological school or seminary, neither here nor
abroad. We can only know Him through the breaking of the bread,
i.e., through a life wherewith we completely deny our own desires in
favor of what pleases God.
In fact, it is obvious that many
who study Scriptures, or teach in Cathedrals or preach in churches
DO NOT KNOW what they are talking about. They do not know Christ
through the breaking of the bread; they know Him only through
reading or research. And Christ is not known this way. Such
preachers have to pretend or fake their knowledge by showing they
had memorized the chapter and the verses of Scriptures. This is how
they show knowledge of Scriptures. . .the chapter, verse and page. .
.without having to break bread. One who truly knows Christ does not
quote chapters and verses; he gives the correct explanation of
Christ's teachings as Christ, Himself, would teach it. No wonder
they have to put up a stage show and add drama and an occasional
epileptic seizure to get across a message they know nothing
To know Christ and recognize His
teachings, we must break bread with Christ; we must walk as Christ
did. And Christ never did His own will; He always did the will of
the Father in heaven. Knowledge of Christ and His teachings lies not
in words; it is seen in our way of life.
Breaking of the bread with Christ
means aiming to imitate Christ's humility through the labor of
obedience. It means suffering, not for doing something evil but, for
doing good, like Christ. For Christ suffered, not for doing evil but
for doing good. It means being a servant; and not a superior.
When you have emptied yourself of all your personal desires then you
are ready to break bread with Christ. The breaking of the bread
teaches us that we are nothing. And having only contempt for
ourselves, we begin to know Christ.
And having broken bread with
Christ, Scriptures was opened to them. They began to understand
Scriptures in a manner they had never done before. Having understood
Scriptures, they can now explain it well to others. . .because they
have broken bread with Christ.
Unlike the disciples on their way
to Emmaus, the apostles previously broke bread with Christ during
the last supper. So they easily saw the risen Christ merely through
the linen and napkin. They also easily recognized Christ when at
last He appeared to them.
It is said that we must know God,
love God, and serve God. We come to know Christ through the breaking
of the bread. And it is no easy task to break bread. It is commonly
described as the narrow way that many try to live but very few are
able to. To break bread with Christ is always a small affair for a
few. . .just like in the upper room. . .just like on the road to