LaVerdiere, Eugene. "Chapter Seven: The Breaking of the Bread: The Eucharist in the Acts of the Apostles."The Eucharist in the New Testament and the Early Church. Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press (Pueblo), 1996, 96-111.
LaVerdiere considers Luke and Acts to be a unified work in two volumes, composed with an expectation that the volumes would be read together in such a way that they would be seen as interdependent (LaVerdiere 1996, 97). Luke's writing style shows him to be an historian, steeped in culture and other events, particularly of the earlier Christian period.
While Luke's Gospel account portrays the origin of eucharist, the account of Acts tracks the development of eucharist (LaVerdiere 1996, 98). This is done, however, not through narratives of meals, but "through summaries of life in the primitive community, community assemblies, apostolic discourses, missionary experiences, and community decisions affecting the Church as it grew and became more diversified" (LaVerdiere 1996, 98).
LaVerdiere sees this eucharistic theme in Acts signalled by the mention of Jesus eating with the disciples before his ascension, then continued as the Christians continue in communal life, including breaking bread (LaVerdiere 1996, 99). These activities, like eating food, are related to sustaining life and growing. breaking bread, i.e., dining, is closely related to the ongoing theme of inclusion of both Jews and Gentiles in the body of Christ (LaVerdiere 1996, 100). The use of meals with Jesus and his disciples, then the actions of the community together serve to depict a growth of relationship which oculd withstand various trials.
LaVerdiere tracks some of the trials which arose in early Christian circles, particularly as the Church spread from being essentially Jewish to including more Gentile believers (LaVerdiere 1996, 105). The growth involved language and cultural diversity, which provoked some level of conflict, evidenced in Acts 6:1-7. By resolving the dispute over distributing food, the apostles were free to devote themselves to prayer, their primary work (LaVerdiere 1996, 106).
The next wave of growth, from Antioch to the Aegean world, was a matter of purposeful missionary work. This involved a good deal of cooperation among different leaders and groups (LaVerdiere 1996, 107).
As we approach the end of Acts, LaVerdiere notes a journey o Paul to Rome by way of Jerusalem. He considers this as a parallel to Jesus' journey to the passion and resurrection by way of Jerusalem. In these moves, salvation is brought to the world community, pictured by the Roman Empire (LaVerdiere 1996, 108). The eucharistic image is especially present in Paul's journey when, as there is an impending shipwreck, they pray, break bread, and then survive the loss of the ship.