Last Saturday and this Saturday and Sunday we celebrate First Holy Communion with 144 of our parish children. What a joyful day this is! These children are so excited and full of enthusiasm – all dressed up for a special occasion! Mom’s, dad’s, and grandparents are smiling and perhaps reminiscing about their own First Communion day. But, as we’ve aged, have we still kept the same sense of wonder and awe we had on our First Communion day? Or, has receiving the Eucharist become routine? Worse yet, some have stopped receiving communion altogether! Why? When I preach First Communion Masses, I ask the children why do they eat food every day? They know the answer!! To grow, to keep healthy, to keep strong. And yes, we must do that to keep our bodies functioning. BUT, there is another part of us that needs to be fed besides our bodies, and that is our spirit. We are BOTH body and spirit. Why feed one and starve the other? It makes no sense, but many do it! When we feed our spirit with the Eucharist, the very body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus – the original “soul food” – we are strengthened to face and deal with the challenges of life. We are not alone in those times when everything seems to be falling apart. So, if you’ve been away from the Eucharist, I encourage you to go to confession first, then join us around the table to partake in the Eucharist – food for the journey.
And what about adoring Jesus in the Eucharist? I once read an article written by a woman who was invited by a member of her parish to commit to one hour a week to adore the Eucharist in her parish’s chapel. She thought it would be a great way to start the day, so she took an early shift. She wrote about her first time doing it “I felt anything but peaceful. I’d never adored before, and I discovered it’s incredibly hard, at least for me, to sit quietly and pray for that long! I walked out feeling restless and agitated – like I’d failed somehow.” She chatted with a woman who showed up for the next shift who told her how much she enjoys adoring the Eucharist: “Jesus and I just look at each other for a whole hour, and I feel so loved for who I am.” Our first time adorer then realized: “I’d missed the point that Jesus is actually present, which of course makes the encounter a two-way exchange. It wasn’t just me doing all the work of adoring. By being there, Jesus was loving me back. And then it wasn’t work at all!” We have Eucharistic Adoration on Mondays and Thursdays from 8:30AM to 6:00PM. Join us….Jesus is waiting!
Have a blessed Easter Season!