The Lent / Pandemic beard is gone. Why? Because not only are we back in church, we actually now have more masses then before the pandemic! Because there is less space due to social distancing, we have now for this phase another 8:30 am Mass over at Holy Cross Academy on Sunday morning.
Another sign of returning? Confirmations and First Holy Communions! This past Thursday we celebrated Confirmation and now moving forward we will be celebrating these sacraments this summer in a socially distanced manner. Could you please be intentional in praying for our Confirmandi and Communicants?How can we shape our disposition to receive these sacraments fruitfully?
1. Preparation. Do we know what we are doing and are we therefore turning our minds with faith to the love of Christ being given to us? We do our best to teach our children that Holy Communion is truly Jesus. We do our best to try to lead our young men and women to ‘live and walk by the spirit.” But I promise you that everyone of us (me too) can improve here.
2. Desire. This is so key. Jesus never forces His love on us. He only offers. The spiritual life and God’s love is freely given by Him and a work of His grace; yet it requires our effort. He has given us freedom that means we must cooperate with His work. The Holy Spirit is freely given to those who will receive Him.
I recall the excitement of my First Communion and the cautious hope for Confirmation. As long as I can remember, I would see my siblings and parents go forward for Holy Communion and I would desperately want to accompany them. The wisdom of the Church waits for this desire to be enkindled in the souls of her children. Can you remember and rekindle that desire now?
3. Repentance. Are we continually turning from sin? If we refuse to repent of sin, then we are saying to the Lord that we love created goods or persons more than Him and we are lessening the space in our hearts that He can fill. The solution to our lukewarmness is simply to repent with sincerity.
One of my favorite comments from a young girl after her First Confession was, “I thought it would be hard and sad, instead it was easy and happy!” What a beautiful summary of repentance and returning to the loving embrace of the Lord.
May the joy of our First Holy Communicants re-enkindle the same in our souls. May the Confirmation of our young adults strengthen our resolution to live the Gospel in word and deed.
pax et bonum,
Fr. John Mosimann