Earlier this month, some of our students received the Sacrament of Holy Communion at St. Rafael Church in Milwaukee.
The Eucharist is, for Catholics, both a meal and a sacrifice. The Lord gave us the Eucharist at the Last Supper because he wanted us to share in the life of the Trinity, the loving communion of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We become united to God at our baptism, and receive a further outpouring of the Holy Spirit at our confirmation. In the Eucharist we are nourished spiritually, brought closer to God, again and again: “By eating the Body and drinking the Blood of Christ in the Eucharist we become united to the person of Christ through his humanity,” write the bishops. They remind us of the words of Jesus in John’s Gospel: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him” (Jn 6:56).
This is such a holy, joyful occasion. The First Eucharist for our children also has meaning for the whole community. We smile at the children and celebrate in their first Communion because they are joining us at our family table: the table of God’s family. The very act of celebrating reveals our belief in the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.