The Mass and Holy Communion
The Feast of Corpus Christi is the name of this Sunday’s feast celebrating the Holy Eucharist. How appropriate it is that we have children making their first Holy Communion this Sunday. The Church sees the Eucharist as something so important in the life of the Church that she refers to it as “the source and summit of the Christian life” and she goes on to say: “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Para. 1324).
The Eucharist is also called Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper, or the Mass. The hope is that, with good catechesis, the children will grow up to understand, love and appreciate the Mass like the early Christians did. The early Christians read it in just about every important stories in the Old Testament. One such example is the prophecy of the prophet Malachi, when the Almighty Lord said: “From the rising of the sun to its setting, my name is great among the nations and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering” (Mal 1:11). The early Christians read this as the promise of the Eucharist, the celebration of Mass. In fact the Third Eucharistic prayer for the Mass uses part of the words from the prophet Malachi: “….so that from the rising of the sun to its setting, a pure sacrifice may be offered to your name”. It makes the point that the Mass is celebrated everywhere in the world. ‘non-stop’, until the end of time, heeding the command of Our Lord to ‘do this in memory of me’.
I congratulate the children and I think/pray for them from the other side of the world. May they continue to grow in understanding and in faith. May they ‘carry’ their parents/guardians along!