Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
One of my favorite weekends of the year has arrived. The first weekend of May always brings with it a wonderful celebration. Just yesterday, over 80 of our young people received their First Holy Communion.
Seeing all the young ladies in their beautiful dresses and all the young gentlemen in their handsome suits and ties brings a smile to my face. That as pastor, I get to celebrate the Mass and give to these little ones the Eucharist for the first time makes my heart swell. Truly, there is something precious and miraculous in this
And while the pomp and the circumstance, with the fancy attire, flowers, and music are all lovely, what makes the moment extraordinary is the encounter of the individual with their Lord and God. When I was newly ordained, I was asked to help out a local military base by going up there and celebrating the Masses for the weekend. The very first time I went, it happened to coincide with the community’s celebration of First Holy Communion. There were only three children, and while they dressed nicely for the occasion, it was a far cry from some of the outfits we typically see for that day. The music, such that it was, lacked pizazz. But how
privileged I was to be there for such a wonderful occasion.
The surroundings, the ancillary details, the connection or lack thereof between the priest and the communicant did not matter. What did matter was that those three people experienced God in a new and fantastic way in the Eucharist.
God loves us so much that He refused to abandon us here on Earth. His presence, his true and physical presence remains with us up until today. In the Eucharist, in the Mass, in Holy Communion, the God of the universe, Jesus Christ, comes into our midst and abides with us. Our young people just experienced that for the first time. Hopefully, we’ve experienced it for ourselves many times throughout the years. But let us never forget, whether we have experienced it once or thousands of times, Christ’s presence in the Eucharist and in our lives is a pure gift that should be cherished and celebrated with joy.
Peace and Goodness,