First Eucharist Families
Letter#4, April 22, 2020
Hello First Eucharist Parents and Students,
Here we are in the middle of the sixth week of sheltering-in-place! I hope you were able to enjoy a week of less work and less pressure last week.As the weather improves, take a walk together in your neighborhood or go out in your yard or garden to find signs of Spring and new life. Nature speaks of the resurrection of Jesus too. The new buds on the trees and blossoming flowers, the butterflies and bees buzzing in the garden, the baby animals being born… all point to nature’s resurrection. This will help you understand that all life is renewed. Jesus brings us the Good News that we, too, will share in his New Life in heaven.
Remind each other that Easter is a season too.It is a season of the Church that lasts for fifty days! There is so much to celebrate!!There are forty days from Easter to the feast of the Ascension, when Jesus returned to the Father and leaves the Apostles.As Jesus said goodbye to the Apostles, he reminded them, and us, that he would not leave them alone.He would send his Spirit to give them (and us) the strength and courage to spread his Good News to everyone we meet mostly by how kind we are to them.
Then ten more days brings us to the feast of Pentecost.On this day we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit to Mary and the Apostles.They were hiding in the same room where they had celebrated the Last Supper with Jesus.They were afraid that they were going to be arrested too.That’s when the Holy Spirit came to them.We celebrate Pentecost and call it the “Birthday of the Church.”The Apostles were filled with the Spirit who gave them the courage to go out and talk to the crowds of people who were gathered in Jerusalem that day.There were Jews from the many countries speaking lots of different languages. The Apostles left the room and spent time telling them the Good News that Jesus is risen.This year Pentecost falls on June 1.Hopefully, we will be back to our normal routines by then, and can look forward to celebrating your First Eucharist on June 13 and 14!!
Last Sunday, April 19, was the Second Sunday of Easter, also know as Divine Mercy Sunday.We heard the gospel story of the disciples hiding behind locked doors forgetting everything Jesus had said about the Resurrection.He comes to them.Can you imagine how surprised they were?Would you be afraid, think you had seen a ghost?Would you be like Thomas? He wasn’t there and when the others told him that they had seen Jesus. He said he would only believe if he could actually touch Jesus. We are so blessed with the gift of faith that we believe the gospel stories even if we only hear them.
This coming Sunday, April 26, is the Third Sunday of Easter.This gospel is a great one for families preparing for First Eucharist.It tells of the two disciples (on that first Easter) leaving Jerusalem and heading for home.They had given up and were heading away from Jerusalem where the love of Jesus had been shown to everyone who believed.They were going the WRONG way.We often go in the wrong direction. Sometimes we forget Jesus’ message of love just like these two disciples did.But how blessed they and we are that Jesus does not wave goodbye, but walks with us and reteaches us over and over, just as he showed these two disciples who he was as he helped lead them (and us) in the right direction.Jesus taught them, once again, how the prophets were pointing out the Jesus who would come as a tiny, helpless baby.Then they finally recognized Jesus when he stayed for dinner and broke the bread and said a blessing!Do we recognize Jesus at Mass?
Jesus teaches us each Sunday during the Liturgy of the Word who he is and what we must do to be part of his community of faith.When we listen to the readings from the Old and New Testament and Gospel our faith grows and blossoms.Do we, like the disciples going to Emmaus, invite Jesus in to share the Meal (Liturgy of the Eucharist) and do we, too, recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread?
Our job these next few weeks is to listen carefully to the readings during Mass.Jesus is teaching us to be his disciples, to follow in his footsteps.Then you will be ready to receive Jesus for the first time very soon.Remember that the host looks like bread and tastes like bread, BUT because the priest blesses it and we pray together, the Holy Spirit changes it into Jesus when the priest says the words that Jesus said at the Last Supper, “This is my body.” THE BREAD BECOMES JESUS!“This is my blood.”The wine is changed into Jesus too, but it still looks like wine and tastes like wine.This is our faith!This is what your mom and dad will help you believe because they are your best teachers.
Christ is risen, Alleluia.
Christ is risen indeed!
Love and Prayers,