Everyone loves First Communion Sundays! The children are so beautiful, and they look so holy. We know that for each one of them, this is a very special moment in their lives, even though they do not really understand most of what they have been taught.
Jesus comes into the life of these innocent children through a gift that He gave the Church in order that He might never be too far from us. The Eucharist is Christ’s greatest gift, and the one most appreciated in the Sacramental life of the Church.
But is anyone else touched by this ceremony? I personally believe that it can be a greater spiritual gift to the parents and older friends, then to these delightful seven year olds. If the parents involve themselves in their children’s preparation for First Communion; if the parents, by example, show the awesome reality that is involved in going to Holy Communion on Sunday morning; if the parents can reflect the fact that Jesus’s presence is extraordinarily important to them as grownup people, then the ramifications are almost immeasurable!
The kids will not really grasp most of the theology that is presented to them, but they will certainly understand from their parents’ example, that there is something awesomely and beautifully happening not just in their individual lives, but in the life of their family!
Parents cannot be reminded too often that they are the principle teachers of their children. Their formation, their sense of direction and values, are almost overwhelmingly coming from their parents in those first formative years. As they go to the altar, do not let them go alone. Be with them every step of the way.
As at Emmaus, “they will see Him in the breaking of the Bread!”