THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2012
JESUS IN THE EUCHARIST
Today’s gospel: Luke 24:13-35
Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead. By this Jesus
overturned the culture of death and ushered in the culture
of life. God now wants us to live to the full the way of life
that He intended from the very beginning. But there are many
things that prevent us from living the culture of life according
to God’s intent.
like the two on the road to Emmaus, “Jesus himself drew
near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from
recognizing him.” (Lk 24:15b-16). Jesus continues to
try to break into the lives of people, but we are too busy
“conversing and debating” (Lk 24:15a). We talk
about Jesus, we have theological discussions about Jesus,
but we do not spend our time developing a personal relationship
with Jesus. We talk when we rather need to listen. We look
to our mind when we need to look to our heart. We see with
our eyes rather than see with our soul.
we live our lives “looking downcast.” (Lk 24:17b).
We allow the trials, pain and suffering in the world to bring
us down. At times we even blame God. At times we simply turn
away, giving up on our faith. At times we allow the burden
to keep us down, thus living lives bereft of power and victory.
We look down rather than looking up, and are prevented from
seeing that our God still reigns in heaven above. We are downcast
rather than persistent in the joy that comes from living a
life for and in Jesus.
we try to conform Jesus to our own agenda. The two “were
hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel” (Lk
24:21a). They were looking for a political king and put their
hope in Jesus, but when he was arrested, was crucified and
died on the cross as a common criminal, all their hopes were
dashed. Many people today call upon Jesus only when they are
in great need, and just as easily forget him when their need
has been satisfied. Many pray just asking for things, rather
than focus on praising and thanking God and interceding for
the needs of other people. Many look to Jesus as their liberator
from material and emotional want. Such posture, like the two,
is ironic. Jesus indeed is the one who has redeemed Israel.
He has redeemed us. He is the fulfillment of all our hopes.
Now Jesus has done something more. He continues to give us
himself in the Eucharist.
Mass we have the liturgy of the Word and the liturgy of the
Eucharist. This is what Jesus celebrated with the disciples
at Emmaus. First, along the road, Jesus “interpreted
to them what referred to him in all the scriptures.”
(Lk 24:27b). Then, in the village home, “while he was
with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke
it, and gave it to them.” (Lk 24:30).
are to be that bread that Jesus the Bread of Life uses to
feed his people. He takes us, as we repent of our sins and
turn to a life of faith in him. He blesses us, not just with
new life but all the good things that a loving Father has
already reserved for His beloved children. He breaks us, allowing
us to fail and to fall, to be oppressed, to experience the
dark night of the soul, to suffer and experience pain, so
that we would be humbled, emptied and purified. He gives us
away, as we serve others, practice self-sacrificial love,
and become his instruments for proclaiming the good news of
salvation to many others.
comes the amazing thing. “With that their eyes were
opened and they recognized him” (Lk 24:31a)! Jesus was
“made known to them in the breaking of the bread.”
(Lk 24:35b). In the Eucharist we encounter Jesus. In the Eucharist
we live the paschal mystery over and over again. This is at
the core of our Christian faith. It is the means given us
by which we are to see, know and recognize Jesus.
the Eucharist our lives are put into proper perspective. We
are a Eucharistic people. We embrace the cross of Jesus and
we share in his victory over death and sin. Suffering for
the cause of the Kingdom is salvific. We realize what the
culture of life truly is.
Jesus died for us. Now Jesus draws near to us, walks with
us, and converses with us. What more do we need? Why do we
respond so tepidly, so selfishly, so haltingly, so tentatively?
Hear Jesus say, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of
heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!” (Lk 24:25).
us give our hearts and our lives totally to Jesus. Let us
always invite Jesus into our homes, saying “Stay with
us” (Lk 24:29a). Let us study his word in the Bible,
and say to each other, “Were not our hearts burning
within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures
to us?” (Lk 24:32). Let us receive Jesus regularly in
the Eucharist. Let us allow Jesus to take us, bless us, break
us, and give us away.
let us continue to proclaim the good news of salvation in
Jesus. To one and all let us say, “The Lord has truly
been raised” (Lk 24:34a). Now let us “set out
at once” (Lk 24:33a)!