First Communions & 5th Sunday of Easter

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The Cantaloupe Patch

First Communions

And the Cantaloupe Patch

By Fr. Frederick Edlefsen


Today, the Fifth Sunday of Easter, we have First Communions and the May Crowning of Mary at the 10:00 AM Mass.  We will also have five First Communions at the Spanish Mass on May 5.  During First Communion Masses, I survey the patch of second graders, sitting in the front pews, who will receive Christ’s Body and Blood for the first time.   What do I see?   God’s garden.   To me, it looks a like a cantaloupe patch with eyes.  Isaiah calls it a vineyard.   

“Let me sing now for my Beloved.  A song of my Beloved concerning his vineyard.  My Beloved had a vineyard on a fertile hill.” (Isaiah 5:1)

We are all this garden’s caretakers. Moreover, we all should set the example and receive every Communion as if it were our First Communion.  At Mass, earth and heaven come together in a happy experience of innocence and joy – in Holy Communion.    

Second grade is good timing for First Communion.  Kids are entering the “Age of Reason,” when they begin to grasp the difference between right and wrong.  They’re embarking on an age of discovery but without too much seriousness.  They are passing into what might be called the “golden years,” which run roughly through ages eight and nine, when play and learning go together. It’s an age of primeval rationality, curiosity, imagination, and a hankering for adventure and discovery.  

“Nascantur in admiratione.”  “Let them be born in wonder,” goes the old saying.   For kids, the best learning begins with delight.  Delight leads to wonder, and wonder leads to wisdom.  Wonder is God’s invitation to be his friend.  Golden age kids are also becoming capable of loyal friendship, including with Jesus.  Jesus stories provoke their imaginations to learn about God and Creation.  Miracles, angels, saints, Bible stories, art, sacred music, poems, and prayers feed children’s maturing souls and form their moral imagination.   We humans must know the rhymes before the reasons.

Our children have now approached God’s Altar to receive Christ’s Body and Blood.  Bring them back every Sunday and Holy Day.  Teach them to live in the grace they have received.  Form their minds and hearts in the beauty of the Catholic faith.  “Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, watching over them…” (1 Peter 5:2).






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