My family and I live in a very rural place and belong to a very tiny parish where there are no organized religious education programs, so when it comes to my children preparing for the Sacraments, I am it. Of course, I find this intimidating because it is such an important part of their faith lives to receive the Sacraments (especially the Eucharist) for the first time, and I want them to be well-prepared and experience Christ and His love as much as possible. And even though I feel confident in the great resources I use, I'm prone to freak out at the responsibility of this task.
The Body and Blood of Christ is a profound facet of our faith, and I'm so thankful we get to pause and contemplate it for today's feast. To think that God planned from the beginning of time, worked through the people of Israel, formed covenants, all with the purpose of giving us the body and blood of His Son for our salvation is awe-inspiring. We become so accustomed to receiving the Eucharist that this transcendent and supernatural reality can go unnoticed. But I'm reminded at how amazing this miracle of receiving Christ's Body and Blood really is when I think about preparing my children to receive it for the first time.
I want them to know the reality: receiving Communion is not simply symbolic; it truly is the flesh and blood of Christ under the appearance of bread and wine. I want them to know that this is Christ Himself uniting Himself to us in the most intimate and personal way possible. I want them to know that it will not only change their life here on Earth, but it is the thing that will give them eternal life.
These realities of the Eucharist are mysterious. We will never understand here on Earth how and why Christ gives Himself to us in the Eucharist. We also cannot make someone believe and have faith in the Eucharist. We hold these beliefs in tension: miracles and mystery exist, this deep reality that is unseen by our human eyes. But I am grateful to live in this mystery and to be able to share it with my children.
Lord, increase our faith and devotion to Your True Presence in the Eucharist today. Help us see the Eucharist as Your Body given for us, Your love given to us everyday, and Your life given to sustain our souls.
Christy Isinger is a wife and mom to five lovely, loud children and lives in northern Canada. When not homeschooling, she is a devoted reader of English literature from Jane Austen to Agatha Christie. She writes about the beauty of faith, life, and the home at her blog and is the co-host of the Fountains of Carrots Podcast. You can find out more about her here. She is the author of our Blessed Conversations: The Ten Commandments study found here.