I spent time with some of our teens on Sunday afternoon a tour local Subway restaurant during our Grace in Practice, Teen Edition. Sacrifice came up because they had been thinking about it ever since Sunday School. They understood the point that Jesus, symbolizing the breaking of his body on the cross, took bread, broke it, and gave it to his disciples. In doing so, he told them and us to continue in remembrance of him whenever we break bread.
But why did Jesus want us to remember that act in thatparticular way?
Breaking and sharing is at the core of Christianity. In order for Christ’s body to be shared with the world, it had to bebroken. In order for the plan of salvation for the world to come into being, we have to break and share the Body with others.
Let’s say I was to bake a pizza and present it to the youth. If we did not cut the pizza, only one of us could eat it. Somehow, we’d have to break the pizza into pieces for us to share. Later on, as our teens grow up and have children of their own, they will teachtheir kids to slice up a pizza and to share it.
Jesus is teaching us today, just as he taught the disciples, that in order to share, we must first break.
When I was graduated from seminary, our daughter, Veeka, decided to stay in the Bay Area at her residential school called JobCorps. Moving to Idaho meant we had to break up our family. But, in doing so, we were able to share. Later on, Veeka met her husband. And now, they are expecting their first child. In order for her to share her child in the world,first the amniotic sac will have to break. When our mothers gave birth tous, their amniotic sacs had to break open for us to be born. The
only wayto share a child into the world is for a part of the mother’s body to be broken.
In the Gospel of John, when they found Jesus dead, they pierced his side and water and blood came out. (Jn 19:34) Many wonder if that was a symbol of new life for the whole world like the amniotic sac breaking.
Breaking is not much fun. Breaking means change. But, breaking also means sharing and new life. If the apostles had notbroken open the Word of God and if they had not made their own sacrifices by offering up bread and breaking it, would the Body of Christ have been given tous?
It is our Christian family history and tradition to break in order to share.
May you be blessed in your breaking and in your sharing,
- Fr. Dave