At Sunday Mass a few weeks ago, I made my way up to the altar for communion, the boys in tow. After I had received the host and stepped aside, Lukey edged forward. Neither boy is yet old enough for communion, though Luke in particular has shown himself to be very eager (in his younger years, we’d have to hold his hands to keep him from grabbing a fistful of hosts.)
Now, at the ripe old age of four, he is much more sedate. Like all those who go up in the communion line and don’t receive the host, he stands patiently and waits for a blessing. Usually, the priest or eucharistic minister in question will stoop down and touch his forehead or shoulder, saying something along the lines of, “May the Lord bless you and keep you all the days of your life.”
But this time was different. This time, the eucharistic minister — a woman about my mom’s age, perhaps a bit younger — bent down and touched Lukey’s shoulder. She looked into his face and smiled and said, “Jesus loves you very much.”
As we walked back to the pew, there were tears in my eyes. I realized that if Luke takes nothing else from his Catholic faith, I hope he always has the certainty, deep in his bones, that he is loved by Jesus: the same Jesus who, as our pastor once said, makes himself so small, so humble, in order to feed us both body and soul.
That’s what it’s all about.