I Pray That

This weekend over 50 children will be making their First Holy Communion. They will be receiving Jesus, body, blood, soul and divinity under the appearance of bread and wine. As we celebrate this special moment this year on the feast of Corpus Christ, this is my prayer for these children as they receive Jesus in  communion for the first time.

I pray that each one may grow in a deeper and more intimate relationship with Jesus and come to know him as the centre of their life.

I pray that each child will always have a love and desire to be part of the body of Christ, the Church and have a growing sense of belonging to the Catholic Church.

I pray that these children will never see Mass merely as an obligation and consequently feel guilty if they don’t go. I wish that they may always experience Mass as an encounter with the one who loves them and therefore always have a desire to celebrate Eucharist each week.

I also pray that they take to heart the words of Saint Mother Teresa when she talked about how seeing Christ in the Eucharist enabled her to see him in the streets. “If we recognise [Jesus] under the appearance of bread,” she explained, “we will have no difficulty recognising him in the disguise of the suffering poor.” Through their love of the Eucharist and frequent reception of Holy Communion may our children come to see Jesus in the poor, the refugee, the-rough-sleeper and those who are marginalised.

I pray that they never lose that connection between their everyday experience and the Sunday Mass. As they grow and mature may the Eucharist be for them the source and summit of their life as disciples of Christ.

Finally, I pray that they may be encouraged by Blessed Carlo Acutis, a young Italian born in London in 1991 and who died aged 15. His love, reverence and understanding of the Eucharist was exceptional. “The Eucharist is my highway to Heaven!” he would say. He also said, “If we get in front of the sun, we get sun tans, but when we get in front of Jesus in the Eucharist, we become Saints.”

Canon Father Anthony Charlton
Canon Father Anthony CharltonParish Priest