Which pair of glasses do you wear when you read Scripture? One pair may help you see far; that is, you are able to read the passage with a view to the future when “thy kingdom come(s).” Another pair may bring Jesus and his teachings up close. “Oh my! That’s me in that story!” Recently I’ve been using the lens of Eucharist to read the Gospel of Luke. Eugene LaVerdiere. writes: “Gospel that does not find expression in the eucharist is greatly impoverished. Eucharist that is cut off from the gospel is pastorally ineffective.”
Here is an experiment you might try in your imagination. When reading Luke’s gospel with its ten meal stories, pretend you’re placing a lens of Eucharist over the pages. Let Eucharist give your vision a greater depth of meaning to the stories on that page. Actually, that is what Saint Luke was achieving in his gospel. The concerns of the early Church were woven into the historical life of Jesus. Thus when the early Christians heard or read the stories, they saw something of themselves—how they were inclusive or exclusive, generous or stingy, legalistic or open to the new, how they treated the poor, and, most especially, how the death and resurrection of Jesus colored every page—not only the last chapters.
Over the next few blogs I will share some thoughts on how the lens of Eucharist enhances the meal stories in Luke’s gospel.