Marilyn Karpinski
St. Anthony de Padua, Angola
October 24, 2023 // Local

Agape Meals Seek Christ in the Breaking of the Bread

Marilyn Karpinski
St. Anthony de Padua, Angola

Christ’s first appearance following the Resurrection was to His disciples on the road to Emmaus. However, they did not recognize Him until He sat with them at table and broke the bread.

As part of the ongoing National Eucharistic Revival, the people of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Angola and St. Paul’s Chapel at Clear Lake are sharing agape meals, breaking bread together, and recognizing Christ in one another. Following the meal on Thursday, October 5, participants watched a video presentation from the Catholic media outlet Formed on the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Small-group table discussions about the video concluded the evening.

Photos by Marilyn Karpinski
From left, St. Anthony of Padua parishioners Mary Ann Wiegand, Jackie Washburne, and Rose Nelson prepare food for the agape meal celebrated by members of St. Anthony in Angola and St. Paul Chapel in Clear Lake on Thursday, October 5.

‘Truthfully,” said John Peters of St. Anthony, “I didn’t want to come. I didn’t think I would like the meal of lamb, roasted vegetables, bread, and wine, the video, and especially the table discussions, but I am so glad I did. It is the best program I have ever attended!”

Mark Harris, also of St. Anthony, agreed and stated that he appreciated the more formal atmosphere. Michele Swan of St. Paul’s Chapel said that while she enjoyed the opportunity for more in-depth study of the Eucharist, she appreciated having children invited and the youth version of the video being shown in another room.

“Agape” is the Greek word for “love”; thus, an agape meal is a meal served with love – not filial love but a true self-sacrificing love like Christ shared with His disciples and with all of us.

Children watch a video on the Real Presence of Christ following the agape meal celebrated by parishioners at St. Anthony of Padua in Angola and St. Paul Chapel in Clear Lake.

“Christ chose a meal to institute the Sacrament of the Eucharist,” said Peter Walters, St. Anthony’s parish point person for the Eucharistic Revival, “so what better way to emphasize the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist than at a meal?”

Members of both St. Anthony and St. Paul agree and are anticipating the third and final agape meal, which will take place on Thursday, November 2, with the appropriate title, “Food for the Journey.”

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