Saturday, May 2, 2009
The Greatest Gift
As I tucked Peter in to bed tonight I was so proud of my grown up boy who has made his First Communion today. Today I was truly aware of how blessed we are that the good Lord chooses to come to us in the Sacraments. We had done so much to prepare for this day, and then early this week the computer melted down and we had to stop work on his First Communion Notebook, where he was narrating everything he has learned this year. At first, he and I were both upset about this. We were eventually able to recover the document, and we will continue to work on it later in the summer, but I relaxed when I realized that with or without a binder to prove it, he was ready. While all of our teaching is important, it is the Lord who makes us worthy to receive, whether we are a simple child or a complicated grown up. If we ask Him, He will prepare a tabernacle in our heart and come and spend time with us there. He seeks to be with us, and I know that He was so happy to be truly present to Peter in the Eucharist today.
Tonight I told Peter that he, himself, is the fruit of a sacrament. His father and I are united in sacramental marriage, and through our marriage he was born. The love that our family shows for one another is the way that we make Christ present in our domestic church everyday. We are so thankful for Peter, because through him we learned to be open to life.
In the Old Testament, the Chosen People gave God the first fruits of their harvest. Peter is our own first fruit, and when we bring him to receive the sacraments, we give him with great trust and love to the Lord. The life of Christian can be difficult in our secular world, and we ask for the grace to allow our child to do what he discerns the Lord calling him to do in his adult life. Until then, we are thankful that the Lord gives us the task of teaching him and guiding him. As his first teachers, we bear responsibility for his catechism, and whatever choices he makes in life we will be called to account for his formation.
Surrounded by family and friends who have prayed for him throughout his little life, today he took another step on his journey of faith. As his mother, it is astounding to me that the little boy I held in my arms is now so big that I can't lift him. When I first learned I was having a baby, I thought it was just that, a baby. For some reason I had no sense that Peter would grow from a baby to a child, that what was growing inside of me was truly a person. I can see that in my other babies because I know that they will all grow as big as Peter, and still bigger.
I pray that Peter will continue to grow in body and spirit, and that his faith in the Real Presence will be strong throughout his life. I know that his questions from here on out are only going to be more important, and I ask that the Holy Spirit will be with me when I am tongue tied. Through the sacraments, God will give us the grace we need to sanctify each day, as individuals and as a family.