What do First Communion celebrations tell us about our faith?
During the past four weeks, on Wednesday evenings, we have been celebrating First Communion with young parishioners who have been preparing for quite awhile.
COVID-19 knocked our timeline off the table. Ordinarily, we would have celebrated First Communion right after Easter. But not this year.
Faith formation for these children actually began when they were baptized. In baptism, Jesus calls us to be his followers. Parents and other people of faith help these girls and boys hear and respond to Jesus’ call.
This year, we were able to live stream the celebrations to relatives and friends living outside the household. Grandparents and others were able to participate online. Parents even sent a link to family in other parts of the world: Japan, Costa Rica, Malta, France, Lebanon and our own Canadian province, Prince Edward Island.
The far-reaching joy of this celebration reminds us that the followers of Jesus are all around the world. The prayer of the Eucharist that began in in our little church on Bloor St. West was being prayed world wide.
When we accept the invitation of Jesus to gather as a community of faith to celebrate Eucharist (and for many this is happening virtually for the time being), we meet the risen Jesus who nourishes and strengthens us as we meet the daily opportunities and challenges placed before us.
Adults present at the First Communion celebration realize that faith formation is a lifelong experience. We never arrive at the end. And so, for the girls and boys, as the preparation before celebrating Eucharist fully for the first time, is over, a new door is opening to Life in the Spirit!