Pastor's Corner

First Communion

05-01-2022Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

Do you remember your First Holy Communion? Sadly, I have only vague recollections and they focus on the ice cream we children enjoyed in our parish school hall after the Mass. It’s an important and pivotal moment in the lives of our children, not merely a rite of passage as a cultural Catholic.

First reception of Holy Eucharist is the second of three Sacraments of Initiation, which begins a more personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ that these young Catholics can develop as they participate at Mass each weekend and receive the “real presence” of Jesus in Holy Communion.

Our children who will receive their First Holy Communion at some parish Masses here at Holy Family this month of May, embark on a life-long journey with Jesus that requires support and commitment to allow this relationship with Jesus to grow and flourish. As a community of fellow Catholic believers, we join their parents and family members in celebration of this wonderful opportunity these children now have to join us in partaking of Jesus’ Body and Blood. We help them understand that Jesus, who is God, loves them so much that He wants to come into them in a very real and special way. We adults can sometimes relate to Holy Communion as if it were a thing rather than a person. Our expression of faith in Who it is we receive, the joy we exude, the change that takes place in our lives as a result of encountering Jesus in Eucharist – all provide a vital witness to these little ones that Holy Eucharist is far more than what meets the eye. It’s with eyes of faith and devotion that these children will grow in their appreciation of this essential means to become a faithful disciple of Jesus. Receiving Holy Communion is not merely for our sanctification, but also for the supernatural power that helps us become Who we eat – to be other Christs in a world that is desperately in need of His saving love and mercy. At Eucharist, we are inspired and empowered to become Jesus’ hands and heart and feet.

Please keep our First Communion children and their families in your prayers. Pray that the Holy Spirit will bring a renewed zeal for Jesus and His Church into their hearts. Also, please pray that this time may be an occasion for all of us older Catholics to deepen our appreciation of this Sacrament that we can sometimes take for granted. It is a Gift for which we must be continually grateful.

God bless you!

Fr. Bob