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Your first, your last, your only Communion

You may have noticed the kneelers in the center aisle at Masses since Easter Sunday. I wanted to address that, and offer an invitation.

To mark the sacredness of their first Holy Communion, I set out kneelers for our 4 First Communicants at the Easter Vigil, and figured it would be nice to give people the option to kneel while receiving if they so chose. Then we just celebrated the First Communion of 39 of our young parishioners, giving them the same experience: to kneel before the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, the very Good Shepherd Himself.

You may also be aware that the US Bishops’ Conference—in response to a shocking survey that revealed a staggering 70% of Catholics do not believe in the True Presence—called for initiatives to help spark Eucharistic Revival in the Church here in the United States, capped with a special Eucharistic Congress to be held this summer in Indianapolis.

Eucharistic Revival and Renewal isn’t likely to take root or bear fruit if only the same 100 parishioners who already believe in the True Presence come to talks about the Eucharist or move hours of Adoration. The greatest impact will be had at Mass, where we consistently have over 1,200 souls every weekend, and, for the vast majority of those, that Mass being the one time per week that they are exposed to Eucharistic sacredness.

Our Masses should be faithful to the Tradition of the Church, faithful to the liturgical books given us by the Church, and celebrated and participated in with beauty, fullness, and reverence. We don’t come to Mass to be entertained, but to worship the Holy Trinity, as the Lord has shown us how to worship.

How you and I act toward the Eucharist says a great deal about what we believe about it…about Him…and also impacts the faith of the people around us. If we call it “bread and wine,” it will betray the fact that we do not believe Christ is truly present. If we receive Him in a state of sin, St. Paul says we “eat and drink our own condemnation”. But if we approach the Lord in the Eucharist with reverence, kneeling or standing, with a heart won over by His grace, the Lord can and will move mountains in our lives, infusing us with more faith, more hope, more love.

I invite you, if you are in a state of grace (that is, unaware of any unconfessed grave sins), to receive Holy Communion this week asking the Lord to help you receive Him as if it were your First Communion, as if it were your only Communion, as if it were your last Communion. Let at least your heart bow and kneel before Him, and if you feel so led, feel free to let your body express the intention of your heart.

The Lord is truly risen, alleluia!
He is risen indeed, alleluia!
Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!
All you holy saints of God, pray for us!

Peace in Christ,
Fr. Michael