05/06/12 Pastor’s Mesage

May 14th, 2012 by helen in Pastor Message Archive 2012

Come to the Table

How beautiful it is to reflect on the 15th chapter of John’s Gospel, the Vine and the branches. Jesus’ powerful image, that captures so much of the agricultural flavor of ancient Jerusalem, continues to inspire: “I am the Vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in Me and I in Him will bear much fruit.” Jesus is the “true Vine” and God the Father is the vine grower. Some pruning is always needed, to be sure, but that is what leads to greater growth. What areas of our lives need pruning? What can we stand to face that prevents us from bearing much fruit?

Next Saturday morning, thirty-eight of our young boys and girls will receive their First Holy Communion. They will come to the Table for the first time, receiving nourishment from our Lord’s Body and Blood. Because of their Baptism, they are already members of the Body of Christ. On Saturday they will be renewed by the Food which comes only from the Vine, the Real Presence of our Christ, His Risen Body. Of course, there will be a lot of celebration, as well there should be. The festive atmosphere should not be lost on anyone.

We can also use this as an opportunity to reflect on our own relationship with the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Do we sometimes miss its significance, relegating it to “just another thing to do”? Does it “fit in” to my schedule? In a parish where I served previously, the church was adjacent to a large public soccer field. For games and tournaments, many people would use the church parking lot and go over to the field. Attendance at Mass would be diminished considerably as people chose sports over worship.

Maybe we can imagine that every time we receive Eucharist is our “first” Communion. Its significance and importance cannot be understated. Let us come to the Table, responding fully to the Lord’s call.

United at the Table of the Lord,

Fr. Dennis J. Vincenzo

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