Sacrament of First Reconciliation
Having already received the first Sacrament of Initiation, Baptism, our Second grade students are now ready to begin preparing for Reconciliation.
Reconciliation, the sacrament of healing, is a sacramental celebration in which, through God’s mercy and forgiveness, the sinner is reconciled with God and also with the Church, Christ’s Body, which is wounded by sin. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1422, 1442-5, 1468)
Sacrament of First Eucharist
… the Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being.
-CCC, nos. 1325
Origin and Names of the Mystery of Christ's Memorial
The origins of the Eucharist are found in the Last Supper that Jesus shared with his Apostles. “In order to leave them a pledge of his love, Passover, he instituted the Eucharist as the memorial of his death and Resurrection and commanded his apostles to celebrate it until his return; ‘thereby he constituted them priests of the New Testament’” (CCC, no.1337, citing Council of Trent: DS 1740).
So rich is this mystery that we have a number of terms to illustrate its saving grace: the Breaking of the Bread; the Lord’s Supper; the Eucharistic Assembly; the Memorial of Christ’s passion, Death, and Resurrection; the Holy sacrifice of the Mass, the Holy and Divine Liturgy; the Eucharistic Liturgy; Holy Communion; and Holy Mass (cf. CCC, nos. 1328-1332).
Therefore, Holy Communion is the reception of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist. More generally, it is our fellowship and union with Jesus and other baptized Christians in the Church, which has its source and summit in the celebration of the Eucharist. In this sense, Church as communion is the deepest vocation of the Church. (CCC, nos. 1382, 959)
To participate in the Mass, we need to resist a tendency to passivity when gathered in an audience-like setting. At Mass, we are an assembly of believers called to be a community joined in the praise and worship of God. We are called to offer our bodies as sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. Not simply our flesh and bones, but rather our very selves – spiritual sacrifice.
As children approach the sacrament of the Eucharist, they are in the early stages of their spiritual journey. In the preparation of our first communicants, catechist and parents aid in their journey and self transformation. Only Jesus can transform us into himself. But it is through the aid of sacramental preparation that Jesus can become present in their immediate lives. Our inner receptivity is critical. To receive love, we need to be open to it. The sacrificial gift of self at every Mass is the best way to be continuously transformed into Christ. Then in Christ we become bread for the world’s bodily and spiritual hungers.
Second grade Eucharistic Sacramental Preparation is not only for “first time” Eucharist; more importantly, it is a preparation for a lifetime of being nourished at the table of the Lord. Preparation for the sacrament, then, is not only about cognitive learning but very significantly about a period of spiritual preparation.
Sacrament of Confirmation
St. Jude Catholic School’s eighth grade students will receive the final Sacrament of Initiation, Confirmation.