Last weekend I celebrated the occasion of First Holy Communion in the parish.
During the ceremony I explained how on Friday I was officiating at a wedding and before the bride arrived I was talking to the wedding singers.
One of the women asked was my brother home or abroad and added he looked like someone who travelled and spent time away because of his long hair and beard.
At the mention of this fact, the other women then launched into a story about her wee grandson who was in Buncrana during the week for a day out with his family. The grandson was in a café with his father and happened to look up from his dinner to spot a man with long hair and a beard walking into the restaurant.
Very seriously he said to his father: “Look daddy, it’s Jesus”.
Then without missing a beat he said: “Did he hear about the curry sauce as well?”
To be honest when I heard the story my stomach started rumbling because I was starving.
Speaking of food, this week has been very emotional because last Sunday I managed to boil spuds or potatoes for the very first time and now I feel like an adult.
Yet for all the distractions the thing I find most difficult is the times when I have to eat on my own.
It doesn’t happen that often but when it does it can be a lonely experience.
In the same way Jesus doesn’t want any of his sisters and brothers to be lonely or to live in isolation from one another.
We’re called as a people and God wants to gather all his people, uniting them through the celebration of the bread and one cup around the one altar.
Jesus, even though he has returned to his Father, remains with all of us throughout our lives in the celebration of the sacraments, during the times when we pray and listen to his word. Jesus doesn’t want his people to feel abandoned or unloved so he has left his disciples, those who follow after him, the gift of the Eucharist or Holy Communion.
Jesus offers us none other than the gift of himself, he pours out his life on the cross and this sacrifice becomes present every time we celebrate his sacred meal.
During the last supper Jesus took bread and wine and transformed them into his body and blood.
This memorial sacrifice would become the means by which we are all drawn into a new relationship with God and with one another.
Gathering as the Church we come to understand we are not on our own, we belong to a bigger family, the one established by God to bring us into the new promised land of heaven.
In receiving Holy Communion we welcome Jesus and through his gift we are brought closer together as one family.