LaVerdiere, Eugene. "Chapter Six: Dining in the Kingdom of God: The Eucharist in Luke's Gospel." The Eucharist in the New Testament and the Early Church. Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press (Pueblo), 1996, 79-95.
LaVerdiere evaluates eucharistic themes in Luke's Gospel, which he assigns the relatively late time of about 85 A.D., similar to his estimate of the composition of Matthew (LaVerdiere 1996, 79). The account in Luke is intended to speak to a Gentile audience, unlike the account in Matthew.
LaVerdiere distinguishes between the Last Supper, as a formal communal meal, and the Eucharist, also a formal meal (LaVerdiere 1996, 79). While in the Last Supper Jesus acts as the host and nourishes his guests, in the eucharist, LaVerdiere says, "Jesus is present among us as a participant, but also as nourishment, sharing his person with us and inviting us to do the same" (LaVerdiere 1996, 80). The two meals, in LaVerdiere's view, were conflated by the New Testament authors, a phenomenon made apparent to him through the fact that when the authors of the Gospels tell about the Last Supper, they include a form of the institution narrative. LaVerdiere sees much more discontinuity between the meals than this reader does.
Luke's presentation of eucharistic elements reflects his "interest in history, in liturgical tradition, in the discourses of Jesus, and in the meaning of meals" (LaVerdiere 1996, 81) Luke's presentation is, in some elements, spread across the Gospel and Acts. For instance, there is only one miraculous feeding of a multitude in the Gospel, set in Galilee (LaVerdiere 1996, 82). In Acts, there are instances of breaking bread in Gentile contexts.
Luke's Gospel records ten meals of Jesus, as well as parables and other statements closely related to food (LaVerdiere 1996, 83). Each instance shows an aspect of Christian lfie and ministry.
LaVerdiere briefly describes the different Christian communities which he thinks led to the development of the different canonical Gospels. In the Lukan community he describes a setting in which the Gospel was proving to reach universally. This would spur them "to position themselves in relation to the entire world" (LaVerdiere 1996, 85). He describes challenges based on success as well as leaders who needed to be reminded to care for the poor.
LaVerdiere discusses the different meals with Jesus in Luke in order, showing in each one a different focus on a needed element within the Lukan community as he has envisioned it (LaVerdiere 1996, 86ff).
The Last Supper meal is presented in Luke as a Passover meal, but here the first Christian Passover (LaVerdiere 1996, 89). LaVerdiere presents a chart of the parallels between Mark, Luke, and 1 Corinthians, before describing the way Luke particularly points not only to a fellowshp meal, but to the Passover and its significance in redemption (LaVerdiere 1996, 89ff).
LaVerdiere further takes the meals with Jesus after the resurrection in Luke to have eucharistic significance. In both instances, Jesus blesses the people in light of his finished work as he breaks the bread for the people who are facing discouragement (LaVerdiere 1996, 92). The breaking of bread became the way Jesus' people entered into his passion and resurrection.