5th Sunday of Easter - First Communion

For all the ways that the Book of Revelation tends to inspire intrigue and is used a blueprint for predicting the end of the world, today’s second reading shows us there’s much more to it—and it’s beautiful. It’s author, John, describes beautiful visions that were given him, and ultimately what we find is that it’s not a book of terror, but instead a book of promise and hope.

At the end of all the turmoil and the fight against good and evil, the dust begins to settle and suddenly, he sees something: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth.….I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven…..I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people….The One who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’”

It says that God comes to us. There is nothing anyone of us have ever done that is the cause of God’s love, His coming to us. I remind us of what the Eucharist is—Jesus’ Body and Blood, his very life—and it’s generously given to us. In this gift, He not only comes to us, but he dwells in us. We become living tabernacles.

I remind us that we are body and soul. We get it when it comes to caring for our bodies. But the human soul is too often forgotten about and too often neglected. Grace is food for your soul, and this Eucharist grace—that is God’s very life source—is the nutrition it offers.

Parents, God wants to be part of the lives of your children. I remind you that they were his children before they were yours, and he has asked you to care for them, to make Him known to them. I don’t think for a moment that you want anything but goodness for your children, and to love them. But I remind us: The primary task of a Christian parent is not college for their child. It’s not to create for them the infrastructure that makes for comfort, power, and self-reliance. Instead it’s to make sure they come to really know this Jesus who gives himself to them, to get them to heaven.

If that’s not our goal and what we desire in our hearts, then this moment is a little hollow. But if it’s true that your job is to get them to heaven, how is that plan coming together? What kind of foundation has been laid? The point is not to put anyone on the spot, but instead to ask us to reconsider what we’ve set as priorities, and to adjust as needed. It’s not too late.

Be sure, God wants to come down, to descend upon them and make his dwelling within them through this heavenly food. God, who never stops creating, wants to make something new in them through this intimate encounter in Jesus’ Body and Blood.