Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve

Heavenly Delights

On Saturday, my daughter, Felicity, received her First Holy Communion. It was a day that she’d looked forward to for months, and why wouldn’t she? Children are receptive to ideas that are hard for adults. It’s what makes them vulnerable, but sometimes vulnerability is a gift.

In the Gospel, we hear about how many people “went away” from Jesus as He gave His catechesis of the Eucharist because the truths were “too hard.” For a devout Jew, who observes restrictions about eating the flesh of certain animals, this is understandable. Jesus instructs His followers to not only eat flesh, but human flesh. Blood was understood as the source of life, so to drink someone else’s blood was an outrageous instruction.

I can’t fault these holy people who sought to more deeply obey God’s instructions. They, unlike us, didn’t have the benefit of thousands of years of theology. Like a child, they had to accept Jesus’ instructions at face value.

In the revised translation of the Mass, one of my favorite concluding prayers starts with, “Having consumed these heavenly delights…” It evokes the Jewish people in the desert, looking out of their tents to see manna waiting to feed them; bread from Heaven come to save us, having all sweetness within it. Felicity can now fully participate in the Mass. As she does, may she find fulfillment in these Heavenly Delights.