Do you remember how you felt when you first started going to Mass as a kid? Were you ever curious or envious of those who stood in line for Holy Communion? Maybe some of you even played “The Body of Christ” using Haw Flakes and wafers! Children often have a natural longing for Holy Communion. For some, this connection stays with them even as they mature. For others, it becomes a mere ritual. As such, we’ve decided to revisit this sacrament for a refresher course on its significance.
What is Holy Communion?
Pope Francis describes Holy Communion—the consecrated wine and host that Catholics receive during Mass—as a great gift. “That’s why going to Mass is so important,” he said. “Going to Mass not just to pray, but to receive Communion, the Bread and Body of Christ. It saves us, forgives us, and makes us one with the Father. How beautiful!” He adds that it is the summit of God’s saving action. “The Lord Jesus, by becoming bread broken for us, pours upon us all of His mercy and His love, so as to renew our hearts, our lives, and our way of relating with Him and with the brethren.”
Why do we receive it?
“I think the reasons vary from person to person,” says Patricia P. Lambino, PhD, of the Theology Department of the Ateneo de Manila University. “Some probably do it out of routine, or even social pressure. But those with the eyes of faith can probably see more to it than just fulfillment of an obligation. When I go to Mass and receive Holy Communion, I find the time at the beginning of each week to be with Jesus Himself, to celebrate the fact that I am here, alive, nourished by the life and sacrifice of Jesus and His community. And that is my baon for the rest of the week.”