My god-daughter received her first Holy Communion on Pentecost Sunday. This is such a very special and important day in a child’s life. On that day she gets to receive Jesus, Body Blood, Soul and Divinity for the very first time.
Of course many children do not fully understand the sheer amazing miracle of Christ’s Presence that they are about to receive in the Eucharist, but I have seen children with a deep inner realisation of Who it is they are receiving, even if they cannot really put that into words. A lot depends on how well the children have been prepared of course, and sadly, many First Holy Communion preparation materials are pretty poor.
It was a beautiful day and the parish arranged things so that each child received his or her First Holy Communion with their family. The children were beautifully turned out in their white dresses and the boys in suits. No one was over dressed or silly. It was all done with proper care for the real reason the children were there.
Afterwards we went to her house and the family sat together talking and enjoying the day.
I’ve been listening to some good Bible studies about the Eucharist which I’ll link to in some later posts. He points out some very interesting things, that I had not considered before. He looks hard at John 6 of course.
One of the interesting things he points out on this programme is that Judas DID NOT BELIEVE Jesus when He said, “You must eat my body and drink my blood or you will not have life in you.” Okay, you could argue, but lots of people did not believe at that point. They walked away, despite the huge miracle of the feeding of the 5000 only the day before. Jesus did not call everyone back to say they had misunderstood Him. In fact He asked the 12 if they wanted to leave too. Judas stayed with the others but like Satan he was already refusing to serve.
Satan must have been getting a bit nervous at this point. Jesus was there with the apostles, but he was predicting his death. Having the Son of God walking around was bad news, but at least He was planning to leave.
The Last Supper was a disaster for Satan. He may have wondered about the Resurrection and that was going to be bad. The whole business of getting Jesus killed was to get Him out of the way-but then He produces the Eucharist. THIS IS MY BODY, THIS IS MY BLOOD.
Satan must have remembered that first temptation reply “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every WORD that comes from the mouth of God.” So here was Jesus not giving bread alone to His Church, but the WORD made flesh, the EVERY WORD or complete WORD of God.
Jesus went to His death pouring out every drop of blood for the New Covenant. He rose again and then finally He leaves, taken up to Heaven wrapped in the Shekinah (the Glory cloud of the Holy Spirit), but as He instructs the apostles to go out and baptise all the nations in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, He finishes with the words Satan just didn’t want to hear, “And behold I Am with you even until the end of the age.”
Christ has of course kept that promise and He is present in the tabernacles of Catholic churches throughout the world and is made present on the altars of Catholic and Orthodox churches every day.