Bread and Peace are Written with “P” for Easter

March 30, 2024

Sculpture of Jesus © Cathopic

In the Catholic liturgy, on Saturday of Holy Week, we remain in prayer and silence, next to the tomb of Jesus, and, at midnight, we celebrate the Easter Vigil. If the Jewish people celebrated and celebrate Easter, as a commemorative date of the departure from Egypt and “passage” through the Red Sea, Christians celebrate the new Easter as the most important event in the lives of believers: the resurrection, the “step”, the new birth (Jn 3,1-18) the renewal of the mind (Rom 12,2-3), the new life, to live according to the ways and logic of God, the transformation of the life they experienced and those who encounter Christ experience today.

“Easter” or “Passage” to a new life through which, Christians, we confess the Risen Crucified, living among us, Lord of Life and history. New and abundant life (Jn 10:10) which consists in the fact that, now, we can live the same life of Jesus in us, no longer as slaves, but as children, calling God: “Abba!”, Father (Gal 4 ,6) and loving each other like brothers. Because in this we know that we have passed from death to life, in that we love our brothers (1 Jn 3), to the point of crying out, like Paul: “It is no longer I who live, it is Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2,20).

After Jesus’ death, Jesus’ first disciples had their lives changed. They were no longer the same. Transformation of the life that they attributed “to him who was hanged on a tree” (Acts 4:10), to the Crucified. Well, if the dead man changed our lives, it is because he is alive and has risen. Transformation, new life, for which he is confessed Living and Risen. Since then, the best proof of the presence of Christ as Living and Risen in the world is carried out by men and women with a new life, living the same life that Jesus of Nazareth lived and taught, loving and serving everyone.

There are many new signs and good fruits of this transformation, of this new life in Christians. Signs of new life that the first Christians recorded in all the writings of the New Testament, especially in the so-called “appearance stories.” I will refer here, especially, to three of these signs or new features in the lives of new men, of the disciples resurrected with Christ. Three traits that are valid in the life of every human being, disciple or not, of the Master of Nazareth. Three very, very necessary traits today in our lives, in our society, in our world.


There are countless references to joy throughout the New Testament. “Why are you crying?” (Jn 20:11-19). “They left the tomb with great joy” (Mt 28:8). “Because of the joy they experienced…” (Luke 24:41). “They were filled with immense joy when they saw the Lord” (Jn 20:20). “Didn’t our hearts burn?” (Lk 24,32)

There is no longer sadness, fear, trepidation or anguish, because now we can live in the joyful confidence of knowing that we are very beloved children of God and accompanied, forever, by the presence of the Risen Lord in history: “I will be with you every day …” (Mt 28,20). Now we can live in the joy that “nothing and no one can take away from us” (Jn 16:20 ff).

Joy that is not stridency and noise, but the joy that springs from the heart that knows itself to be loved by God the Father and capable – for that very reason – to live loving everyone as brothers. The joy that arises from the certainty of final victory through the victory of the one who comforts us and encourages us by telling us: “In the world you will have tribulations, but be of good courage, I have overcome the world” (Jn 16,25).

Joy then becomes the first virtue of Christians, the light and salt of the disciples in the world. Without joy, anxieties, resignations and obligations arise, heavy burdens, so contrary to the gospel.


“Peace to you!” (Jn 20:19). The best fruit of the new life that the Crucified gives us, the most important and urgent, is the construction of peace that Christians must achieve in the world. The Risen One lives among us, whenever we are able to build peace as a result of love made forgiveness. The confessions of faith about the Risen Lord, made by ‘Christians’ incapable of giving the world the peace that Christ offers us, are false. Christ lives when we are able to build peace, brotherhood, and the sovereignty of God in the world, through forgiveness.

“My peace I leave you, my peace I give you, but I do not give it like the world” (Jn 14:27) Christians believe that Jesus brings us peace; moreover, that He is our peace. We believe that peace has as its sole and ultimate motivation love, which springs from the acceptance of the other as different from me, but whom I recognize as a brother whom I can and must always forgive.

All this is different and contrary to the petty concepts or conditions of peace that the world seeks and offers. The peace that Jesus brings us is different and contrary to the silence of weapons, cursed instruments that leave rivers of blood, thousands of dead, abandoned, orphans, innocent victims of senseless hatred, sad people crying loneliness, millions of displaced people without land, without roof, without bread, without illusions, without future, without love. The peace of Christ is different from the silence of cemeteries; exponents – in this case – of heartbreak, hopelessness and human stupidity. Different from the violent imposition of the strongest on the weak and from the treaties and negotiations that are signed and dissolved according to the selfish coming and going of human ambitions, lies and whims.


“They recognized him when he broke the bread” (Lk 24:30-53) The accounts of apparitions occur in meal contexts. The celebration of the Eucharist requires us to break and share bread. And when this does not happen, when our Eucharists do not go beyond the walls of the temple, when, in the world, some are fed up and others die of hunger, then we have to ask ourselves about the truth and value of the Eucharist in a world with hunger and for our confession of faith in the Risen Christ.

If we do not break and share bread, Jesus Christ will not be recognized as living in the world. Bread and everything that tastes like bread: shelter, work, education, clothing, outstretched hand and open heart, social opportunities to live each day more humanely and with dignity, etc. Christ is recognized as Risen and Alive – in the midst of his disciples – when sitting fraternally at the same table, the table of the world – we are able to break and share our daily bread, with everyone, but especially with our companions on the journey most needy.

“They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we do not know where they have put him!” (Jn 20:1-9) This cry of Mary Magdalene seems like a complaint, a lament, a claim from the world to Christians: they took him out of the tomb, they confess him resurrected, but where have they put him? The sign by which the world recognizes the living presence of Christ in Christians is by living, loving one another. Otherwise: Where is the Risen One? Where have we put it?

For joy and peace through bread to be possible, daily and permanent in our relationships and in our societies, we must give, with all our strength, with all our actions and words, with all our attitudes, a YES to life in all its forms, to respect for the other, to truth, to forgiveness, to solidarity, to freedom, to dialogue in the truth, at the same time, a resounding NO to corruption and lies, to violence, to selfish individualism, materialism and consumerism. NO to intolerance, discrimination, stratification and marginalization. NO to all forms of injustice, violence and death.

It is urgent that we move (Easter) to prioritize ethics over appearance and aesthetics, being over having, the person over things. It is urgent to give primacy to the worker over capital, to service over the power that tramples and to everything transcendent over what is immanent and perishable, etc.

All human beings live in the daily task of being better. We are all urged by Easter, urged to “move” from unworthy, inhumane situations to a better, full, happy, abundant life. It is urgent that we take the step, in Easter, to be better children, friends, brothers, parents, professionals, bosses, rulers, religious leaders and citizens. I invite you to live in permanent Easter, in permanent “step” towards peace and joy through bread and shared life. “Happy Easter!”