Read: Luke 24:13-35
When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. (vv. 30-31)
Did you grow up in a home where mealtimes were preceded by prayer or by “saying grace”? If so, you may have experienced a variety of reactions: possibly frustration as an uncle droned on while the potatoes got cold, or impatience while each sibling took turns reciting a traditional rhymed verse. Maybe the Lord’s Prayer was repeated in a monotone voice as the usual prelude to your meals.
Repetition easily becomes a meaningless ritual if minds and hearts aren’t fully engaged. Yet giving thanks before meals is a beautiful thing, and when we do so, we are following Christ’s example. He blessed the bread before miraculously multiplying it to feed thousands, as well as when he ate the Last Supper with his disciples. He did not take God’s gift of food for granted. In today’s reading, the Emmaus travelers who invited Jesus to eat with them did not know who he was until he blessed their bread. Jesus’ prayerful action triggered their memory and awareness. Then they saw who he really was.
Before we use our mouths to eat, we should use our mouths to speak words of gratitude for all God’s gifts. When we bow our heads before a meal, may our eyes be open to Jesus’ presence and provision in our lives. —Denise Vredevoogd
As you pray, ask Jesus to fill your heart with gratitude for your daily bread.