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July 26th - To Receive as a Child

It seems so long ago, but it has only been about two months since we celebrated First Communions at St Francis Xavier. First Communions are such an exciting time for parishes all around the world. This is where members of our parish family present themselves before the Lord and the Church for the first time and call God their Father in the midst of the assembly. And there’s usually two ways we can spot our First Communicants Firstly, they’re dressed up very nicely.This is mostly pretty obvious.
But there is a second less obvious way to spot them. When they come up through the Communion line and as the priest or extraordinary minister of holy communion raises the host and says the words “The Body of Christ,” the communicants often have not only looks of awe, but looks of great desire. They recognize that this is indeed Jesus in their midst.

My friends, last week Jesus’s disciples come back to Him and report about their efforts of evangelization throughout the surrounding towns. As the crowds start to break upon them from all over, Jesus invites them to rest with Him on a boat ride across the sea. As Jesus and the Disciples finally make it to the other side, they notice that the crowd has hurried on foot to the other side.

“They were like Sheep without a Shepherd” the Gospel tells us.
So Jesus gathers them together and they intently listen to Him as He teaches them. But what happens after you travel a long way and then sit for awhile? You grow hungry. Jesus tests His disciples and asks “where are we going to buy enough food for them to eat?”
Phillip responds: “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.”

But you see, it wasn’t so much about the food. The Gospel focuses so much on the miracle of multiplication, that we often miss the main point. The Gospel goes on “When they had their fill…”
They were all not only satisfied, but were filled. May I suggest that there were actually two miracles here. The obvious: Jesus multiplied the food. And the less obvious miracle was: they were filled. Remember, Jesus both taught and fed them.
Does that sound familiar? Like what we do every time we come to Mass? They had finally found a shepherd who could satisfy them and who could gather them together. There was something different about Him. And they would go on to learn that He was much more than a shepherd - He was and is Christ in their midst.

When we come to Mass, do we allow Christ to fill us? Or are we distracted by other ways to satisfy our hungers? As we hear His words in Scripture and Gaze upon Him in the Eucharist, are we thinking about Him or are we distracted with the many things on our to-do lists. Our First Communicants two months ago gazed in awe and desire at the mystery of our Lord’s presence in the form of bread and wine. The Lord is present to hundreds of millions in this same form each and every day. What is our response to Him?