Sunday, 29 June 2014

First Holy Communion, Not Chocolate

Today is one of the most joyful of all of the days in the parish year, and for the children here making your First Holy Communion it should rank as one of the biggest days not just of this year but of your life. So I'd like, this morning, to say some words directly to the children making their First Holy communion, and then to their parents.

So, children: today is your special day. And I want you to try and answer a question that Fr Tom Smith of Warminster put to his First Holy Communion children last week, and I wonder if you can find a better answer than they did. The question is this:
Why did Jesus chose BREAD to make the Mass, why not chocolate? Wouldn't chocolate have been nice?
So, anyone got an answer to that?
And the answer those clever children in Warminster gave is this: if the Eucharist was made using chocolate, if it tasted like chocolate, we would come for the wrong reason, for a party, not for Jesus.
Jesus is a great thing, but it's a hidden greatness, not in the sweetness of chocolate.

Well, another question, if this is the Body of Jesus, Why didn't He make it look like a piece of his flesh?
Well, because it's not a PIECE -it's ALL of Him. He comes to you in Holy Communion FULLY: His Body, His Blood, His Soul and His Divinity -ALL present in Holy Communion.
A piece of His flesh would actually look like something LESS that what Holy Communion is.
If HOLY communion was to look like what it REALLY is it would have to look like the WHOLE Jesus: all in a form small enough to be eaten -which would both be weird and not possible!

So, He comes hidden, LOOKING like bread, but being something else.
He comes in a symbolic form, bread being food, so He comes in symbolic food-form,
but the reality is that it is fully HIM coming -as the food for your souls.

Let me remind you of something I said to you all before: I pointed out to you that many things in life don't look like what they are. This here, to my right, this crucifix looks like Jesus, but it isn't Jesus. And, I have a photo of my little nephew, and it looks like him, but it isn't him. Well, the Eucharist is like that: it looks like one thing, but it IS something else: it looks like bread, tastes like bread, but it IS Jesus Christ: His Body, His Blood, His Soul and His Divinity -all present in Holy Communion.

Now, parents:
You are here because you want something important for your children. You are here because you care about your children. You have brought them to be prepared during this year because you want this precious thing for your children.
Let me tell you, however, that all of that is a waste of time if it does not become a REGULAR repeated thing. Receiving Holy Communion will only be possible for your children if you are bringing them to Holy Mass each and EVERY Sunday: this is the only way they can benefit from this precious gift that they are receiving for the first time today.
I know that there are many things you want for your children, many things that compete with God and compete with Mass. But the most important gift to give your children is the food that LASTS, the food of heaven, the "bread of tomorrow" that we pray that we be permitted to receive 'today' -that Jesus has promised to give us today.

That is the great gift that those here are to receive for the first time.
So, children, be ready. Pray to Jesus. Ask Jesus to help you focus your thoughts. So that you will be ready to receive this great gift.


Mary said...

Succinct explanation of the mystery... I've needed a good analogy to explain it to my wee ones... Thankyou!

Fr. Dylan James, Catholic Priest, dual American-British citizen said...

Thanks Mary! Don't forget, you can now subscribe to my podcast or at audioboo