This weekend my daughter celebrates her 1st Holy Communion. This is a special moment for her, for our family, and for the Church.
I echo what Pope Benedict XVI once said, I use both the ‘I’ and the ‘we.’ For on many, many matters, I am not simply expressing ideas that have happened to occur to (Joseph Ratzinger) insert your individual name, but I am speaking out of the common life of the Church’s communion.
Receiving the Eucharist is one of those times when we can and should use both “I” and “we.” In the Eucharist “I” receive Jesus Himself – Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. In the Eucharist, I become more fully part of the “we” that makes up the Church.
The reception of a Sacrament, and especially the receiving of the Eucharist, is and should be done in communion with other members of the Church. It is a private and public action. It illustrates our individual union with God, but it also highlights our communion with the Body of Christ, the Church.
INSTITUTING THE EUCHARIST (1337)
At the Last Supper, knowing that his hour had come to leave this world, Jesus washed the apostles’ feet, gave them the command of love, and then instituted the Eucharist. When he commanded the apostles to “do this in memory of me” (Lk 22:19), “he constituted them priests of the New Testament” (Council of Trent).
FOUR ACCOUNTS (1338)
Paul, Matthew, Mark, and Luke give an account of the institution of the Eucharist. John prepares for this institution by recording Christ’s words at Capernaum, “I am the bread that came down from heaven” (Jn 6:51). Learn more …
The Eucharist is an amazing gift that Christ has left us. He loves us and desires to nourish us and keep us united with Himself and with one another. This is why we have a period of preparation prior to our 1st Communion. It is an event that we want to highlight and memorialize with solemnity and celebration.
Unfortunately, sometimes the actual reception of the Eucharist gets overshadowed by the party/parties that occur afterwards.
My own daughter will have 2 celebrations so that as many family members as possible can share in the momentous occasion. I pray, however, that the beauty and love that is not just a symbol, but a reality, will fill my daughter and all of us who are part of the Body of Christ, with the knowledge and joy of knowing that Christ loves us unto death and has left us a physical way to be united with Him here and now.
O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, All Praise & All Thanksgiving, Be Every Moment Thine…