Today, I’ll assist as deacon and preach at our First Communion liturgy in South Boston. Since the homily will be delivered from the well, I don’t have a fully completed text but rather some notes. Here they are.
Do you ever get yelled at for eating too quickly?
I did! All the time. I’d be the first one done and my parents would ask me, “Do you even know what you were eating?”
I’d answer correctly: but that wasn’t what they meant. They wanted to know if I had tasted the food, if I had been thankful for it, if I had really appreciated that there was food on the table.
And so, I ask you, second graders, as you begin your first Communion, do you know what you’re eating?
Yes, you do!
You’re receiving the Bread of Life for the first time. It’s a promise that God makes to us that He will always be with us in a special way. The best part is that all we need to do is come to this place.
Now I have another problem: I eat things – things that aren’t good for me – and after I’m done eating, I ask myself, “why did I eat that?”
Mature crowd (to the adults): you know this problem, don’t you?
For us, we may get to the same question about what we do here: why are we were, why do we come to the bread of life?
Our first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, gives us the clue: the followers of Jesus are more than individuals, but members of a body – members of a group, not put together by family relation, but by the fact that we have all been claimed by Christ.
We come for the same reason the Apostles came together – the same reason why our grandparents came (maybe even to this same church) because we have seen the Lord working in our lives, working in our families – through good times and bad times. We have seen. We remember. We believe.
And now, we eat.