The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.” He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you.”
I don’t know about your family, but this weekend I have two family members making their First Communion. I remember my First Holy Communion like it was yesterday. I remember all of the practicing and what a beautiful day it was when it arrived. I had been waiting a long time for that big day!
One of my earliest memories of going to Mass with my family was going to Communion. I remember being carried up by my father when I was really little. I will admit, I was not the best kid in church. On one occasion, I tried prying my father’s mouth open trying to steal some of the Communion wafer from him. It didn’t seem fair – what was the big deal? Why couldn’t I join in?
As a child, it was the unattainable and wanting to belong. As an adult it is trying to find the more spiritual meaning. Unity is what it represents to me. We all experience this sacrament in the same way, no matter who we are. It unifies us in Christ, while also being a personal experience as we receive the blood and body of Christ. Whatever the meaning to you, it is a personal one and a very special bond between you and Jesus.
Pray for all of those who are making their Holy Communions in the next few weeks. It truly is a wonderful memory that we all share.
–Mrs. Cortney Schraut is Library Director at St. Louis U. High.
Grant me, O Lord, to see everything now with new eyes,
to discern and test the spirits that help me read the signs of the times,
to relish the things that are yours, and to communicate them to others.
Give me the clarity of understanding that you gave Ignatius.
—Personal prayer of Fr. Pedro Arrupe. S.J.