From Father Steven - May 7, 2023
Dear Brothers & Sisters,
As the children receive their first communion this weekend (and some did last week), I have contemplated a lot about the Eucharist. Maybe some take it for granted, others don’t believe in it, but still for some people, it’s indeed the summit of all their fiery (catechism).
It’s very difficult to wrap our heads around the fact that God became man, especially after what men have done to God all this time. It is even more difficult to grasp the way how God redeemed mankind. Not only He gives up his only Son to die on the cross, but the Son himself institutes a way to continually give himself up every time mass is celebrated. Not only that, but God goes even farther. Who would ever fathom that God could be in a “piece of bread”? Jesus took our flesh when he became man, and now he takes the appearance of bread and wine to bring us his body and blood. When the priest says the words of consecration, the bread is transformed in the real body of Christ. The same goes for the wine that becomes the blood of Christ. It’s important to understand that this is not a representation or an image of what it signifies. It is truly the real body and blood. Blessed Carlo Acutis, who recently became very popular, was working to publicize all the times where the body of Christ bled real blood or the blood of Christ coagulated. This is all to say that God loves us so much that He gives Himself in whatever way He can, even if it means to leave behind all the glory that is due to Him.
St Thomas Aquinas describes the Eucharist as a “Sacrament of Love”. He says that “it signifies love, it produces love. The Eucharist is the consummation of the whole spiritual life.” As the children will receive communion for the first time in their lives, and as we all approach the sacrament once again this weekend, let’s meditate upon the meaning, the sacrifice, the graces, and everything else that it entails. Let us come up for communion with the same enthusiasm as the children, and with the same fervor as if it was our last time. When you are shown the Body of Christ that you are about to receive, let’s not say amen automatically, but an AMEN that comes from your heart!
I must confess that meditating upon the Eucharist, doing some research and reading what the saints and the popes said about the Eucharist, was amazing. The realization of how much God loves me helps me love Jesus even more. It’s impossible to convey everything that there is about the Eucharist. It is daunting to say even just a little bit, but I truly hope that this is enough for you to investigate a bit more about the Eucharist.
God bless and congratulations to all the children who have received their first communion!
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Father Steven Clemence