My oldest received his First Holy Communion last weekend. He had been preparing for months. He was over the moon for his first Reconciliation. He attended the optional weekend retreat. Even begged that I take him back to school for a half day the day after oral surgery so that he could be with his class for a second retreat. He was SO EXCITED.

As the day came, we picked out a special suit and tie. We bought new dress shoes, attended one more round of reconciliation and picked up the cake. At practice the day before, the parish coordinator of first sacraments reminded the kids, “there’s a lot to remember, so don’t worry if you don’t do it all perfectly,” and I whispered to my son, “because you’re getting Jesus! How cool is that?!”

The morning-of he was bouncing off the walls. He wanted to put on his suit first-thing (“of course not, you’ll spill something or at the very least wrinkle it”). I, of course, was more concerned about making sure we were on time, that the menu was set and we had enough food, that the guest list was set and the house was clean. Throughout Mass I was slightly distracted—my other younger children made it difficult—but I tried to be a good example, keeping up the reverence and excitement of such a special day. My mind was still on the menu and getting everyone to my house and making sure everything was just so. But then Father’s homily cut through the stream of thoughts running through my mind. He told the kids, “I know you’re so excited for such a big day. You’re all dressed up. You probably have a nice party with your family planned. Don’t lose that excitement. Don’t ever lose that excitement for meeting the Lord. It can become routine, it can become expected, but it’s not. It’s Jesus. It’s the Lord. Just for you. And don’t forget it.” How far I had come in one day—from talking about how cool it was that we can receive Jesus, to only thinking about the cleanliness of my house. I am a Martha, through and through.

The time for Communion came and it was as beautiful as expected. I refrained from pictures as much as possible, but I couldn’t help but snap a picture as we entered our pew after Communion—he was positively beaming. And I prayed that he would never lose that excitement. 

I will be the first to admit that I have seen my Sunday obligation as that—an obligation. But that’s not it at all. It really is “so cool” that we get the chance to receive Jesus every Sunday. Even the angels, who sit in the presence of God, long for the opportunity that humans get to consume Jesus’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity and take him into our bodies and our hearts. I pray that I can be reminded of a little boy’s excitement each and every day. That I will remember that the Lord is there, waiting for me, with me and always ahead of me. And it’s new and beautiful and exciting every day. I pray I never lose my excitement for the Eucharist.