Last Saturday, I was the concelebrant for my godson’s Mass where he received his “First Holy Communion”. The church was filled to capacity and I was passing through the front door, the usher smiled to me and said, “Father, if only the Church could be filled like this every Sunday, it would be great”. This statement by the usher to me sat with me all day and I began to reflect on how Vatican II has called the celebration of the Eucharist as the “source and summit of our Christian life”.
For the families and the new “communicants” gathered to celebrate and receive the Eucharist that day, I am sure the Eucharist was, at that moment, the source and summit of their life, but I began to wish for them that the Eucharist would continue to be the source and summit of the daily lives.
Of course, the children were all “cleaned and washed up” for their big day, but my hope and my prayer for them would that they might come to see that every time they celebrate the Eucharist, it is their BIG day. Sure, there are different degrees of importance in our lives’ events, but my prayer was and continues to be for my godson and his classmates that they continue to see their intimate connection with Christ in the Eucharist as always a very special moment in their lives.
I surely came to a greater love and appreciation for the Eucharist in my life by participating in the First Communion Liturgy for these young Christians. It gave me a great sense of gratitude for the gift of my priesthood and the priesthood of all Christians who participate in the breaking and the sharing of the Body and Blood of Christ at this, the “most precious sacrament of the altar”……..Come let us receive what we are and become what we receive: the Body of Christ.