Stewardship: A Way of Life

Stewardship: A Way of Life

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FIRST COMMUNION  AND HOPE

In these days of troubles, anger, distrust, and so many more feelings that are less than joyful, one should attend a First Communion at least once a week. The experience is so up lifting. The children were filled with so many emotions—excitement, happiness, mixed with some anxiety, and a face radiant with joy about the receiving our Lord in Communion for the first time. We were told that many had rehearsed walking with their hands folded in prayer around the house for days. Their beautiful little white dresses on the girls and jackets and ties on the boys increased their special feeling of pride in presenting themselves to our Lord and families and friends. They felt good about everything. This was a special and great day and everyone present knew it. Father Derek told them to stop and look around and take in all that was happening and remember it. This day will always be special as each of you are now in a new relationship with our Lord. First Communion today, second Communion tomorrow, and so on for the rest of your life. A piece of bread that looks like, tastes like, and smells like bread. But in   Communion, it is not. A cup of wine that looks like wine and taste like wine. But in Communion, it is not. How does that happened? The children eagerly knew the answers. Father sometimes could not finish the question before the answer was shouted out. And then Father challenged us all to remember our own First Communions and relive the joy we all felt as we too entered into this new relationship with God. Do we continue to experience the joy we once felt? Is Communion still special and frequent?

No one in the congregation was not smiling as the children proceeded up to receive. Their reactions and face   contortions in some cases were wonderful. Hesitation before the wine, yes or no, chewing the ‘bread’ as if they had just received a sub sandwich. One little girl took the wine, made a face worth a thousand words, and left her tongue hanging out until she reached her seat. Maybe she was hoping the taste would fall off.

The beauty of church, of being one in our Lord’s presence, of praying together, of feeling all the hope one could possess for this world and for the future of these children was overwhelming and infecting all of us. How could we forget these positive feelings and hope for all whenever we attend church? Has it become so ordinary that we forget we are in God’s house; that we dress without much care to honor this house; fail to keep our minds on the miracle we are about to witness; or maybe we don’t even attend because we lack the mindset that remembers. Is attending Mass and receiving Communion an obligation that has fallen down in our busy life’s choices? Do we have hope for the future or have we lost it?  Maybe we need to remember where to seek it.

by Kathy Reilly