On this Third Sunday of Easter, the Gospel reading of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus struck me in different way: the disciples did not understand that they were talking with Jesus himself. This is not unusual in the Gospels, for throughout the accounts of the Resurrection Jesus is not immediately recognized. But today’s passage says that Jesus “was made known to them in the breaking of bread” (Luke 24:35). Bread: he himself was broken as bread to be given to us. This is why St. Paul can later write: “You are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (1 Cor. 12:27). Jesus wants us to recognize him in his body, that is, in one another. This brought me to consider the reality of the monastery.
As Benedictine nuns, we live in community, the form of monastic life called cenobitic. A monk or nun “lives under a rule and an Abbot” (RB 1:1), and this call to be cenobites is rooted precisely in the belief that it is through and in the other that we meet Jesus.
Every day, I must look to each of my sisters, as well as the guests, in order to recognize Jesus. The goal of all Christians is union with God, and as a Benedictine, this union with God, this recognition of him, is found through our life in community.
May Our Risen Lord help us all to recognize him in his other members!