As I was growing up, I was blessed with two parents who enjoyed cooking. As the time approached when we were to sit down and eat, mom and dad would admonish my sister and me not to fill up on snack food. They didn’t want us to spoil our appetites for the nourishing meals that they worked hard to prepare.
We all know that snack foods have their proper place in our lives. Who of us does not enjoy partaking of snack munchies at times. How sad it is, however, if we allow ourselves to lose our appetites for a sumptuous, nourishing meal that has been lovingly prepared by filling up on snack foods too close to meal time.
On this weekend, a number of children in both of our Parishes will be receiving Holy Communion for the first time. Holy Communion can be likened to a sumptuous feast that the Lord continues to lovingly prepare for each of us. For the rest of our lives, we have a standing invitation to partake of this meal on a regular weekly basis.
Many of us received our First Communion when we were 7 years old and/or in the second grade. We have favorable memories about this. On the day of our First Communion, we felt especially close to Jesus, to our family, to our classmates and to others in our parish community. We gratefully resolved to receive Jesus in this special way at least each weekend and Holy Day for the rest of our lives.
For many persons, the practice of participating at Mass and receiving Communion on a weekly basis drops off. A number of persons receive the Eucharist only on special occasions. Even as we can spoil our appetites for a sumptuous meal that has been lovingly prepared for us in our homes, this can happen in regard to the way that we relate to participating at Mass and in receiving Holy Communion.
We can spoil our appetite to come to Mass and receive Communion by the manner in which we relate to the gift of time that has been entrusted to us. We can tell ourselves that we simply don’t have the time to come to Mass each weekend. If we give in to this inclination, we can lose our spiritual appetites for the Eucharist. The truth is that we always make time in our lives for that which is important for ourselves.
When we fail to see how the Lord is related to the abilities and skills with which we’ve been blessed, we can be mastered by the activities that others and we impose upon ourselves. As a result of this, the desire to come to Mass weekly can be choked out of our lives. If and when we don’t acknowledge the Lord to be the source of the financial resources that have been entrusted to us, we can become enslaved to money and to what we can buy with it. As a result, the desire to come to Mass weekly can be significantly weakened.
Hopefully, the celebration of First Holy Communion for our children would serve as a WAKE-UP CALL for all of us. The Lord continues to invite all of us to celebrate the Feast of the Eucharist each weekend and on special Holy Days as well as on weekdays.
In the Gospel of John, our Lord states that He has come into this world that we might have life and have it more abundantly. In this context, I pray that each of us will want to come to Mass and to receive Holy Communion at least every weekend and on every Holy Day for the rest of our lives. In our determination to do this, we will be able to appreciate the proper place of all of the other gifts that have been entrusted to us. We will grow in the ability to relate to the gifts of time, talent and treasure in a manner that enables us to grow closer to the Lord and to others in His Name.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Nelson Beaver – Pastor