Sunday, April 8, 2012

First Holy Communion

Last night was a life changing experience for me, and many other converts to the Catholic faith. There is a moment in each persons life where they must decide, do I want to follow Jesus Christ? For me that has never been an issue. The last seven years though my life has been leading me ever closer to God, and in doing so it has brought me to the Catholic church. As Scott Hahn said once, "it occurred to me that delaying obedience for me was becoming almost like disobedience."  Scripture was making itself more and more clear to me that receiving the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ was a necessary thing, something that Jesus himself said we must do.

With my wife and children, those of our families who could make it, my new family of RCIA members, and the church family as a whole present, last night I approached the table of the Lord. At previous masses I would always come up last if possible, and cross my arms. Then I would receive a blessing from the priest. It helped in a way, to know that I was partaking of the blessings and grace, even though I could not receive the Eucharist itself. But I felt like the gentile woman in the gospel, who said "Yea, Lord; for even the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs."  Yes, I thought myself a dog who was eating the crumbs, and I longed for more. I longed to be a brother, sitting at the table with my Lord.

Now I know I was a member of the church the moment I was baptized, but being in full communion became important to me. Last night that became a reality. The moment the Eucharist touched my lips, there was an amazing transformation. I didn't know what to expect. Maybe I thought it might taste like a wheat thin, or a salted cracker. After all it is made of wheat and water. Yet, there was so much more. Yes, there was the flavor of wheat, but it was so profound. It was as if I tasted an entire field, with the wind blowing across my taste buds, and the sun shining it's rays of warmth throughout my body. It tasted of life! I was overwhelmed. Then came the wine which was sweet, sweeter than any thing I had ever consumed.

As I returned to my seat I bowed my head in thanksgiving. I was indeed thankful that God had called me to his table, but more so... I was thankful of the amazing act of forgiveness occurring around and through the congregation. As each and every person stepped forward to receive their Lord in communion, their body filled with the grace of forgiveness, and then that grace rippling into the world. Ahh that each person who ever takes communion realizes the oath they are entering under, the covenant, the family bond; and that each of us then takes that love, that grace, that hope and spreads it throughout the world!

In Christ,