By Diocesan John
This is a child receiving her First Holy Communion. Because it is the very presence of Jesus Christ, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity great care is taken as she receives. In humility she kneels, In deep reverence she receives on her tongue. A plate is put under her chin so that if Jesus slips he does not fall to the floor. Anyone watching will soon be aware that the host is something very special to her the priest and the whole Catholic Church. Perhaps at a later date she will be brought before this Blessed Sacrament incased in a Monstrance where she will kneel and Adore Him as the God who lives among us and can never be parted from us. She and the other children will have been sitting in a place of honour and be the first to receive Jesus before the other members of the congregation for it is truly a special day for her. And everyone has made it a special day not just for the party afterwards but because she now has a new life in Christ, a special relationship with Jesus which is unique to her and not just like the ‘rest of the community’
Sunday is the feast of Corpus Christi. The feast was brought into being to emphasise the special presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament We can read the story in the Gospel of John when Jesus first announced that he would give us his flesh to eat and his blood to drink. It was so ridiculous to many of the hearers that they followed him no more. Jesus then turned to his disciples and asked if they would also leave. Peter replied “To whom shall we turn for you have the words of Eternal Llfe” What Peter was saying is that yes, they did not understand but their Faith in Jesus was such that they believed. So there should be no controversy about the Real Presence in the Catholic Church. I related in a former post that I believed in the Real Presence when I was seven, it was because I was a little child and I trusted my priest and my parents and my teacher and when I saw their utter dedication with flowers and candles filling the altar at Adoration I had no doubts whatsoever.
If indeed the majority of young people who make their First Holy Communion today never return or seldom return, perhaps it is because the children see little Faith among the adults, they do not see the commitment I saw, and instead of flowers and candles on the altar they see this ‘Jesus living among us’ put out of sight in some corner of the Church because he is interfering with the Community. We have much to answer for. Jesus in the most Blessed Sacrament teach us to love you.