By Carol Younger

First Holy Communion

 

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – Corpus Christi

Yesterday

In my head, indeed in my heart, there’s a memory as clear as daylight. I’m near the entrance of Holy Spirit Parish Church in the Pico district of Los Angeles, and I’m almost to the entrance.  My First Holy Communion dress is all white, and I think it’s beautiful. I’m wearing white gloves and carrying a white purse.  In it are silver rosary beads and a First Holy Communion book with a gold-colored clasp to keep it safely closed. I wear a shoulder-length veil. I have this memory because my father was taking an 8mm home movie of me and saved this remembrance for me.  The film is long gone, but the encounter remains. I often think of it when I go to Holy Communion, thankful for that innocent feeling I remember – I will be presented to the King of Kings, and He will come to meet me.  How holy I wanted to be then for Jesus. How approved of and loved I felt myself to be by my own father. A never to be repeated experience this side of heaven.

Holy Communion – each, every single one – has become the centerpiece of my life. Watching the care of the consecration, the kneeling priest before the altar, the elevation of the host and the chalice, I am often overcome with awe that the God of the Universe wants to be near us so much that He continues to appear from heaven on all the altars of the earth, all hours of the day and night, all the days of the year. Amazing God, Amazing Real Presence of Christ, Amazing Love.

Today

Today’s feast of Corpus Christi, the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, is one of the most important Solemnities of the Church Liturgical Year. It used to be celebrated not only with Holy Mass but with a procession of the priest through the streets under a processional canopy carried by four or more people, creating a sort of holy space above and around the Eucharist.  Incense and bells announced His passing by. People would kneel in the streets and bow their heads. Jesus is carried as King among us.

The Future

Now, in this Eucharistic Revival Year, I think about how many young children are being prepared to be presented to the King, able to receive His own Body and Blood. How many will remember their first encounter with Jesus? I ask sometimes, what would it take to restore this kind of reverence for God in our midst? Indeed, what would it take for His beloved people to adore the God who wants to be so near us that He leaves His very Body and Blood in the nearest parish church available every day?

 

Prayer

Jesus, Son of Mary and Son of God, help us remember that we carry Your very Body and Blood from Holy Communion with You into our lives and the lives of all we meet. Help us to present You to each person we meet with compassion, joy, and Your love.

Call to Action

Spend some time with a good friend adoring the Eucharistic Lord in your nearest parish Church. Share your stories of First Holy Communion as you adore Him.

 

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