This weekend we have the joy of celebrating First Holy Communion with 11 children in our parishes. This is an important day – one of the most important days of their lives! When we receive the Eucharist for the first time, we encounter Jesus in a powerful new way. He is truly present and gives Himself to us. That is why we treat the first time we receive communion with such solemnity and joy. Our children dress up for this day; we take pictures, have parties, and give gifts. All of this is to remind them – and us – how important it is. First Communion is not simply a right of passage.
Receiving the Eucharist marks another step in the Christian initiation of a young person, a process that starts with Baptism and finishes with Confirmation. Every time we receive, we are recommitting ourselves in our relationship with God. Pope Francis says, “The Eucharist is at the heart of ‘Christian initiation’, together with Baptism and Confirmation, it constitutes the source of the Church’s life itself. From this Sacrament of Love, in fact, flows every authentic journey of faith, of communion, and of witness.”
As people who participate in Mass on a weekly basis, we can begin to take for granted the incredible gift that we are given at Communion. It’s easy to simply walk up and go through the motions, distracted by whatever is going on in our lives and thinking about what comes after Mass. Seeing these young Catholics receive for the first time should be a reminder to all of us to treat Mass seriously.
Every Communion for us is really like our First Communion. Jesus comes to us in a new way; He does new things in our lives if we let him. Each time we say “Amen” to receive Him, we are starting anew. Let’s recapture some of the feeling of excitement and mystery of the day when we received Him for the first time. Let’s come to Him with a heart ready for whatever the Lord who loves us has in store.
“Every consecrated host is made to burn itself up with love in a human heart.”
“If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion.”
“Receive communion by making a throne: one hand under the other, ready to receive Our Great King.”
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.”
REST IN PEACE: Please remember in your prayers the kind repose of the soul of Amber Nicole Board, daughter of Kevin McGuire and sister of Michael McGuire (BLS), and David B Phillipson Jr., husband of Ruth Phillipson (OLL) and cousin of Bob Phillipson (BLS). May their soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.