MY DAD’S FAVORITE Gospel story — the text of his last sermon — shows Jesus again breaking bread, this time at a friend’s dinner table. That afternoon on the road to Emmaus, he and said friend Cleopas have seemingly happened upon each other, though Cleopas thinks he is walking with a stranger who hasn’t heard the week’s news: about the crucified prophet and now his missing corpse. Even hearing Jesus’ scriptural interpretations, Cleopas remains clueless until the man he invites to stay for supper takes a lead role — picking up, blessing, and breaking the day’s loaf. As recorded, it isn’t Jesus’ profile, gait, cadence, or teaching that prompts recognition. Cleopas notes something unique and sacred in Jesus’ hands. Does he see nail prints? Or something more familiar from earlier days — the way he handles bread? I propose that as Jesus broke bread, host Cleopas recognized the wounds and the gifts of a guest.
God, whether I’m a hostess or a guest, I’m breaking bread with wounded but wonder-working companions. Open my eyes to see the message revealed in their broken or breaking hands.
– Evelyn Bence
Room at My Table
From page 77 of Room at My Table: Preparing Heart and Home for Christian Hospitality by Evelyn Bence. Copyright © 2014 by Evelyn Bence. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
Pray the prayer at the end of today’s excerpt. Share your thoughts.
For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died.
2 Corinthians 5:14, NRSV
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This week we remember: Anthony of Padua (June 13).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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