As we continue to deepen our relationship with Jesus in Holy Eucharistic and meditating on the Eucharistic revival in this year of Eucharist in our Diocese. I would like each one of us to flash back on his/her experience receiving Holy communion for the first time. When I first received the Holy Eucharist, I was overwhelmed and I was excited to receive Jesus in my heart, I felt more closer to Jesus and nourished by His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. I think each one of us have unique experience for the first time receiving Holy Communion. When you receive the Holy Communion for the First time, what a special day for you, your family and for the Church too, and more importantly, you are special because Jesus will be in your heart. You can remember the way you were dressing, girls dressed as brides with veils, and boys dressed as bridegrooms in suits and ties. I am going to share with you three points, and hope that you remember as these points are essential for you not only today but for the journey of living your faith ahead.
Eucharist – Food for the SOULS: you have received the Holy Eucharist, in another word, the Body of Christ. Who is Jesus Christ? You have learned about Him for the last months of your catechists. Jesus Christ is our Savior and King. He offered His life for us. He loves us so much and He wants to be with us forever, therefore before He died, He had a last meal with his disciples, and at that night, He asked his disciples to do what He instructed, that is celebrating the Meal. Eucharist is a Meal. Eucharist is solid spiritual Food. It is important to eat properly every day to avoid hunger pains, weakness, malnutrition, and disease. It is the same with our spiritual life. We need to be spiritual-food conscious if we wish to avoid emptiness, spiritual weakness, vulnerability to temptation, and sickness due to sin. In the Holy Eucharist, we are fed, we are full after mass as we have food. The Food is Jesus Christ body and blood. We go home full, full of spirit, and energy to live out our faith for the whole week. This Food will be your nutrition to live out for the whole week. Also, Eucharist means “Thanks,” attending Mass then receiving the Eucharist is the best WORD of Thanksgiving. Therefore, students/ Children you need to go to Mass every Sunday to receive this special Food, and to thank God.
When you come up here to receive the Eucharist, the Body of Christ, children, you may be surprised because you cannot see the difference by tasting this little white Host with a round shape. You may think that is only a host, but Faith tells us that is the Body of Christ, because if we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we will believe whatever He tells us is true. At the Last Supper, Jesus instituted His apostles to do what He just did in “remembrance of Me.” This is my Body. This is my Blood. At Mass, With the power of the Holy Spirit, through priest, the little white Host and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ, that sounds magic to you, and hard to believe because you cannot see it with you own eyes, right?
But there are things that we cannot use our senses to see, or touch or smell, but it does not mean those things do not exist. For example, can you see or touch, or punch the air? (Wait for a few answers, you can ask a volunteer to come up where you are, and facing the congregation, and ask this question). No, you cannot see, touch, or smell the air but the air does exist. How do you know the air exist? (Wait for a few answers). You know the air exists because you can breathe, thanks to the air we can breathe, otherwise, no life on earth, and we are not here but somewhere else in a cemetery, right? So, we believe and know for sure that the air exists, even though we cannot see or touch or smell, so the Holy Eucharist too, you only see the little Host, but our Faith tells us that, after the consecration the host becomes the Body of Christ, and the wine becomes the Blood of Christ. In Holy Eucharist, Christ present and a little white, round Host is truly Body of Christ. At the consecration, the bread and wine through the power of the Holy Spirit, Transform and become the Body and Blood of Christ. This is not a symbol but Jesus’ real flesh and blood, under the appearance of the bread and wine. When we receive Holy Communion, we receive Christ Himself. The Bread and Wine are no longer Bread and Wine but, Jesus Himself. He is real food for our souls.
Remember that when you receive the Host, the taste and appearance may be the same as Bread, but that is the Body of Christ, the true presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. When you receive the Eucharist, you receive Christ Himself, so be respectful. After receiving it, you pray with Him and thank Him for being in your soul. Talking with him about what is in your heart and telling Him what your desires are and asking Him to fulfill it. Christ is King and our Savior, when you welcome an important guest into your house, your parents and you normally prepare the house very well, cleaning up, set up a nice table, good food….to show your hospitality and love to that person, and you want to impress that person too. So, Jesus is the King, the most important guest that enters your house, the soul today, so we need to prepare our souls too, your soul must be free from sins. It is important to eat good food in order to be healthy and fit. If you eat good food, you will be healthy; if you eat bad food, you will be unhealthy. Eucharist is Food for our souls, we receive the Holy Eucharist, means we receive Jesus Christ, WE BECOME CHRIST. Students/children. Receiving the Body of Christ means you act, behave like Christ. Always remember that from today on, Jesus Christ is in YOU, He lives in your hearts therefore your life must reflect the life of Christ. Jesus Christ loves us and everyone, so you are supposed to do the same things, that is loving others, love your parents, brothers, sisters, and neighbors, behave well in the family, listening and obey your parents and teachers. When you go to Mass on Sunday, you need to stay focus, and behave during Mass, every day, you need to pray, morning and evening before you go to Mass.
Therefore, student/Children, may I ask you a favor? Your mom and dad work so hard for you and for themselves, during the week, sometimes they forget today is Sunday, the Day you go to Mass to receive the Holy Food. My favor is to please remind your parents to take you to Mass. On Saturday, you tell mom and dad, please take me to Mass tomorrow so that I may have food to eat, to nourish my soul. I want to receive the Eucharist at Mass, so mom, please take me there to fulfil my desire, my hunger. I am sure that when you request that your mom and dad are so happy and glad to take you to Mass. Am I right, Parents? AND please remember that the mass is not entertainment. The purpose of the Mass is similar to the purposes for which Jesus offered Himself on the Cross. We spend time at Mass to worship God who made us and saves us. So please do come to Mass on Sunday to thank Him and ask Him to give you strength, grace to live the life of Christian, and to pray for favor to fulfill your intentions. I would like to Invite you all to say this prayer after communion silently.
Prayer after communion: Anima Christ.
Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ,
inebriate me. Water from the side of Christ, wash me. Passion of Christ,
strengthen me. O Good Jesus, hear me. Within your Wounds hide me.
Permit me not to be separated from you. From the wicked foe, defend me.
At the hour of my death, call me and bid me come to you That with your
Saints, I may praise you for ever and ever. Amen.
St. Ignatius of Loyola.