Dining tables used to be a sharing table for a very long time. Does it work so anymore? I am not sure. In the good old days this table resulted as the fruit of a labor of love by any one or many in the family. Real labor and love went into its making and, in the resulting togetherness of the family and friends.
There were plenty of sharing not just meals but life, happiness and sorrows, caring and bearing with, and much celebration. It was not at all the age of fast food and hospitality business. It used to be family, a word with deep meaning, an organization that gave vitality and sustenance for a strong society, which bonded together human clans.
Our church gatherings are just an expression of this bonding. In today’s gospel we have a dining table of three and it was in that moment of sharing the disciples recognized Jesus who was with them for quite some time. On the table of the Lord at the last supper Jesus gave the new covenant of love and commanded the disciples/us to gather together in his name and do the breaking of the bread in his memory.
The altar of the sacrifice is the table of the Lord for us where we share his body and in that sharing we are made into one body, the Body of Christ. We eat the Body of Christ and we become the Body of Christ. The body of Christ we eat and his blood we drink are meant to unite us together as one close-knit family with a unique mission to communicate the good news of the kingdom, namely, to proclaim to the world that
“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3. 16),
to proclaim the resurrection of Christ, forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of our mortal bodies and life everlasting in the Kingdom of God.
In order that we may be strengthened in this precious call and mission, in addition to the altar sharing, we need to develop close and binding bonds of love and caring among us believers in Jesus Christ, making us united and empowered in the above mission for and vision of the Kingdom. This is the purpose for which we were
“ransomed …with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1.18-19).
Once we truly meet the lord in the breaking of the bread at the altar of the Lord, we will be enabled along with the disciples returning from Emmaus to be witnessing to the ‘living Lord’.