“O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work…” (Collect for Easter 3)
I’ve never been a fan of Fraction Anthems. Well, that’s not true, I’ve never been a fan of music at the Fraction when congregational singing is expected. The rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer make it clear that the moment of fraction is meant to be contemplated, silence is mandated, and I’ve never understood why we would send people diving for hymnals and flipping through obscure service music to find a setting that few people can sing anyway. True Fraction Anthems, that is, music sung by a Cantor or the Choir, I’m OK with. Or, as is the case at our 9:00 service, a conglomeration of the two, where a Cantor sings the verses and the congregation echos a refrain, I’m OK with that too. That refrain finds its home in this week’s Gospel lesson and Collect:
“The disciples knew the Lord Jesus in the breaking of the bread.”
As a priest, one of my main duties to to faithfully administer the sacrament of Christ’s body and blood. In the moment of the Fraction, I see Jesus. I see Jesus in the eyes of the faithful gathered in worship. I see Jesus in the wide eyed smile of the 14 month old child. I see Jesus in the withered hands of an aging great-great-grandmother. I see Jesus in the exasperated parents whose child just won’t sit still. Of course, I see Jesus in a lot of other places as well. Just today I saw him in the Red Cross employee doing his best on no sleep to serve those who had been rescued by first responders or fled the rising water on their own.
I saw Jesus in the poor (in every sense of the word) couple I drove back to their trailer down at the end of Meth Avenue. I saw Jesus in the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Deputies who were taking a moment amid the busyness of the last 24 hours to grab a bite of lunch. I saw Jesus in my parent’s who though they got very little sleep last night, came to watch FBC and SBC so I could get to the office and start making calls. I’ve seen Jesus all over the place today: in helpers and those in need; in the mundane and the profound. But nowhere was he more present then in the breaking of the bread at the noon Eucharist today.
Where have you seen Jesus today?