My dear children, today is indeed a special day. It is the first day that you will join us in receiving Holy Communion. You will approach to receive that most precious food that we can ever eat: the Most Holy Eucharist. You may be asking, “Why is this so important?” Hopefully, your teachers have helped you to understand the greatness and importance of what you are beginning to do today. You are not receiving any normal food, but you are receiving Jesus Christ Himself, who gives us His Body and Blood to be our spiritual food.
Why is it that Jesus does this? Why does He want us to eat His Flesh and drink His Blood? That is because Jesus wants to draw us closer to Himself. If we want to be near our parents, our friends, or anyone we care about, we move closer to them. But we can’t normally do this with someone who is so far away as to be incapable of touching. This is the great marvel of the Eucharist: although Jesus is very far away in Heaven, He comes near to us in the Eucharist, nearer than anyone else can be to us, because He is inside us whenever we eat the Eucharist.
And what does Jesus do while He is in the Eucharist? He tries to lead you to be good, to be holy, to be what you were created to be from the beginning. We call this day Good Shepherd Sunday, because we hear Jesus in the Gospel calling Himself by this title. A shepherd leads the sheep to where they can eat and be safe, and Jesus wants to do the same thing for us, we who are His sheep. In the Eucharist, we can hear Jesus tell us what it is that He knows is best for us, so that we may join Him completely in Heaven.
My dear children, rejoice that Jesus calls you to join the rest of us in receiving the gift of the Eucharist. Treasure this day as the day you began a new phase of your relationship with our Lord by the Holy Communion you are about to receive. Pray to Him today, and every day you receive Him, for everything you need to be holy, to be with Jesus in this life and the next. Ask Him, our Good Shepherd, to tell you your future so that you may live it out as best as you can. Let us not receive Communion lightly, but treasure each reception so that we may enjoy it here on earth, and rejoice completely in it in Heaven.