An experience of the presence of Jesus during a meal with Syrian refugees

The WORD in Other Words by Sr Marty Meyer SSpS

Friday Octave of Easter 
Acts 4:1-12
John 21:1-14

 In St. John‘s Gospel, the disciples returned from their nightly fishing experience  with empty boats and empty hands — disappointed and irritated. However, following  a stranger‘s suggestion, they cast their net in another area and “they were not able to   pull it because of the number of fish.” It was then that they recognized Jesus in the   stranger: “It is the Lord!” They were filled with joy, especially to realize that he had   already prepared breakfast for them.   

In the Bible, eating together is a sign of fellowship, communion, or shared life.   This communion became very real for me when my fellow Sister and I opened our   hearts to two Syrian refugees who invited us to sit down with them and share their  meal in a strawberry field in Germany where we picked strawberries for 500 refugees.   

One of them reverently said a prayer and offered all of us a piece of bread. Looking   at the bread in our muddy hands, nobody spoke a word, but we all knew and felt in  our hearts that Jesus was with us, an experience of “Eucharist” in a muddy strawberry   field. Even without the consecration, I felt tears in my eyes. The two Syrians are  reflections of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

With heartfelt joy and inner assurance that “it was   the Lord,” a deep feeling of peace filled our hearts.   For the Syrian people peace is the most desired of all realities. To bless each other,   they say “Shalom,” which means peace as well as well—being, prosperity, happiness, fullness of life. During Jesus‘ time, peace was considered God‘s gift and a consequent   assurance of a faithful people‘s covenant with Yahweh.   SHALOM—PEACE—JOY: a perfect setting for a family meal, undisturbed by the   endless texting of children and young adults who are unmindful of others around the table.

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