Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
— Luke 24:35
There’s a story about a woman who happened to wander into a church on a Sunday morning. She was an atheist, so she wasn’t quite sure why she decided to sit there in a pew, and then when she was offered communion, for some reason she didn’t turn it down. As she heard the words “Take this bread” and ate the piece of bread, it was as if she received a revelation. From that moment on, she followed Jesus and then started a food bank so that she could help feed others.
This story and our reading in Luke today give glimpses of what’s possible even when people aren’t aware of who Jesus is. When we read the story of the men walking on the road to Emmaus, it’s hard not to wonder why Jesus kept them from recognizing him. He could easily have told them earlier who he was and filled them with joy. Yet God’s ways are not our ways. And then somehow, when Jesus “took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them,” their eyes were opened.
Can we accept that we can’t control how or when Jesus reveals himself to us, and that it may not depend on our intellectual ability?
Jesus allowed these followers, on the very day of his resurrection, to recognize him first and foremost in the breaking of bread, permitting them to understand and even to taste the truth of who he really was.
Lord, our hearts are burning within us too. As we taste your goodness, we know that you are the risen Savior. Amen.