Do you remember your First Holy Communion?
My young friend, Patrick Donovan, made his First Communion last weekend.
Not only did I receive an invitation to attend this special occasion but I also was part of the advance team to deliver Pat to church for his class picture and to stake out a pew for the rest of the family.
Nestled in the pew between his Grandma Rita and his Aunt Paula a FULL hour and a half before the Mass began, I had the perfect view of every white dress and veil, every miniature business suit that came prancing down the aisle.
I could picture my own communion dress perfectly. My godmother took me shopping for that dress, and it was absolutely the most beautiful dress I have EVER worn — really, in my entire life. At least that’s the way I remember it.
And I wondered as I sat there why I had held onto the plastic pouch containing my communion veil for so long. Oh, and I can’t forget the little white First Communion prayer book I had tucked inside.
I also wondered if I really understood what was happening to me that day so long ago when I first received the Body of Christ.
Do I understand now the significance of Jesus coming to us under the guise of food, wishing to nourish us? Have years and years of receiving “Holy Communion” led me to “Love one another as I have loved you?”
Have I become nourishment for others? Is my life an act of communion? Do I act like I believe those lovely words of St. Augustine, “Believe what you see, receive who you are … the Body of Christ?”
On Patrick’s First Communion Day, here was the Body of Christ in the guise of these little people in their beautiful white dresses and serious suits and ties, hands folded in steeple fashion, each ready and eager to become fuller members of the Holy Communion of believers we are all called to be.