It is the season of first holy communions and Pentecost. I recall a first holy communion day at St Mark’s Church in El Paso, Texas. I was sent there for six weeks so that I could learn Immigration asylum law at Las Americas Legal Assistance clinic. Anyway, on this Sunday of First Communions, the plaza outside the church swelled with proud parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins of the neighbor you once met. Interspersed amongst them were the communicants, decked out in flowing white dresses and satin suits. The girls posed sweetly for pictures with their friends while the boys ran and played as if they were on a football field. There was an excitement in the air and I wondered if they understood what was about to happen to them. I wondered if any second grader could know. In that same second, I wondered how many adults really appreciate reception of the Real Presence.
As always, as I entered the church, I looked for my Jesus on the cross. I love to stare at Jesus on the cross because I love Him and the crucifix always heats up that love within me. On that day, it stirred me to such a place that I could not help but swoon in the feeling for a bit. I was held still in the feeling that you get when you can almost touch Him. Ya know how it is: you are locked into this fascinating intangible possibility, your senses are hyper alert and your chest fells like a balloon that is about to burst... but you know it won't. Still, it is so wonderful that, in the back of your mind, you know it cannot last here on earth. It is one of those Holy Spirit enabled glimpses of the Reign of God.
I believe genuine acceptance of the Spirit and holy communion should ignite a change of behavior. Each time I proceed in formation to receive Him, I am called to allow Him to fill and envelope me. When I say Amen, I say “Yes, I want to become a part of You who I love so dearly”. I say, “Yes, I want to be a part of Your community of Light.” “And yes, I want to help bring about the Kingdom of God.”
I pray to the Holy Spirit to keep me present to His Presence.