Third Weekend of Easter (B/RCL)
First Holy Communion
April 18-19, 2015
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Manasquan, NJ
This weekend 26 of our young people receive our Lord Jesus in the Lord’s Supper for the first time! What a joy for them and for us!
For the other folks here: think of how old you were when you began to receive Holy Communion. Do the arithmetic. How many people here have been receiving the Lord’s Body & Blood in this sacrament for:
- At least 10 years?
- At least 20?
- At least 30 years?
- At least 40?
- At least 50 years?
Can any of you share with these young people why you keep coming back for more? What’s so special about the Eucharist that you make sure you worship and receive Holy Communion, not just on Christmas and Easter and when your relative is receiving First Holy Communion, not just at weddings and funerals, but as often as you can??
There’s something about God and food, about Jesus and meals. What Bible stories can you think of when people are fed miraculously?
- The Garden of Eden was filled with good stuff!
- God fed the Israelites with manna and quail, and gave them water from the rock.
- Through Elijah, God made the container of oil and jar of meal last so they fed the widow of Zarephath and her son and the prophet until a terrible drought ended.
- Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana of Galilee!
- Jesus fed the 5,000 (20,000, if you include the women and children) with the 5 loaves and 2 fish a little boy gave Him.
- Jesus took bread at the Last Supper and said, “This is My Body,” and He took the cup of wine and said, “This is My Blood, the blood of the new covenant, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.”
- · In St. John’s Gospel we read that Jesus made breakfast on the beach for His friends after He rose from the dead.
In today’s Gospel Jesus, who has fed His friends so often, asks them:
“Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence. (Luke 24:41-43)
Never forget: Jesus feeds us with God’s Word and with the Holy Supper so that we can feed others.
The risen Christ doesn’t physically appear to people any more. He hasn’t since He ascended to heaven almost a couple thousand years ago. As we heard, even when He did walk the earth after His resurrection, there were many who didn’t recognize Him and wouldn’t/couldn’t believe He had risen. Even His closest followers struggled to believe!
We who recognize the Lord in the breaking of the bread (as the disciples from Emmaus did), we who receive our Lord in the blessed Bread and Wine of Holy Communion, must be His witnesses. We must tell the world Who it is that shows Himself to us in the Word and in the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.
How is it that the hungry can “touch” Jesus, as Jesus invited His disciples to touch Him in today’s Gospel? The hungry see, touch, meet Jesus in us when we feed them. The homeless see, touch, meet Jesus in us when we house them. The lonely see, touch, meet Jesus in us when we visit or call them. The sick see, touch, meet Jesus in us when we tend them with love and allow God to use us as human channels of heavenly healing grace.
When we eat the Body of Christ we who became members of the Body of Christ in Holy Baptism become the Body of Christ in an even deeper way. St. Teresa of Avila, a great friend of Jesus, put it this way:
- Christ has no body now but yours,
- No feet, no hands on earth but yours.
- Yours are the eyes through which He looks compassion on this world,
- Yours are the feet on which He walks to do good.
- Yours are the hands through which He blesses all the world.
Our Lord feeds us so that we can feed others. We have eyes to see our Lord in this sacrament. When we leave this Table to go out into the world and serve, others see Him in us. You’re not too young! And you can never be too old! Remember: a child gave Jesus 5 loaves and 2 fish, with which He fed 20,000 people. He can and wants to work miracles through you, too. Receive the Body of Christ. Be the Body of Christ. Amen
Pastor Mary Virginia Farnham