On this Lord’s Day at the 5:00 p.m. Saturday and 9:00 a.m. Sunday Masses, we will be celebrating the reception of First Holy Communion with our children who, baptized as infants, have prepared over the past several months for this moment. The Eucharist, of course, is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Lumen Gentium, § 11).
In our reception of Holy Communion we unite ourselves, in the first place, with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He, who came to share in our humanity by his wondrous Incarnation in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by our receiving Him in Holy Communion, comes to dwell in each of us. This is why we say that one’s First Communion is just that – a first. It implies each of us must continue receiving our Lord Jesus in Holy Communion at Mass, especially for the Lord’s Day (Sunday).
This brings the second effect of receiving Holy Communion, namely, being united with all people of God’s Holy Church. Our patron, Saint Augustine of Hippo (+ 430 A.D.) gave us one of the most succinct ways of knowing this grace when he wrote that the Most Holy Eucharist is “a Sacrament of Love, a Sign of Unity, a Bond of Charity” (Commentary on the Gospel of Saint John). Being united with the community of believers, and then living this grace, is one of the primary ways we manifest to the world that we are Christians – not only bearing Christ in name, but also within our bodies and souls.
Congratulations to our First Communicants and their families today. May the blessings of this day follow you throughout your life as well as strengthen your Faith, Hope and Charity.