My 8-year-old son is about to receive his First Holy Communion this Sunday. He is very excited and has been waiting for this moment for a long time. When he was a bit younger he made comments such as “I can’t wait to receive Communion for the first time”, “I wonder what Communion tastes like”, etc. Since we are Polish, during Christmas time we share opłatki (Christmas wafer) and when I told him that the Holy Eucharist tastes very similar, he was even more excited to receive Jesus. Now that the day is almost near, he is still very excited and wonders how his big day will go.
Over the weekend, on Saturday, there was a Holy Communion retreat held for the kids who were going to receive Jesus for the first time and their parents. It was nice to have the pastor talk to the kids and give them background stories of the church and brought them to the tabernacle as he discussed its importance. Afterwards, there were some arts and crafts activities and pizza was shared at the end. Something interesting that the kids made and that I heard about for the very first time were called Sacrifice beads or Good Deed beads. The idea behind them is to do good deeds for God every day and when one good dead has been done you get to move it up and count your good deeds done during the day. My son loved it and made it his goal to do 20 good deeds each day (twice the amount of beads on there).
We, as Catholics have received Jesus a lot more times than we can even count, but how do we treat this privilege? Do we still act as if receiving Jesus is a privilege or do we go up to Communion without even realizing whom we are receiving? Let us never forget that we are receiving Jesus when we stand in the Holy Communion line and that it is a special privilege. Let us be like kids anticipating the first time we get this special privilege of receiving Jesus. In addition, we receive sanctifying grace each time we receive, that makes receiving Jesus even more special. Sanctifying grace is received through the Sacraments and its like Jesus is giving us a gift. He wants us to receive sanctifying grace given by only him and wants us to come to him often.
Do you have a child receiving their First Holy Communion soon? Is the anticipation spreading to other family members?