Sacraments as a Family
Welcome to Beyond the Pew. In this new series, we’re going to be diving into the ways we can journey through the sacraments together as a family. We are so blessed to have these seven sacraments. The sacraments are the ways in which the power of the Cross is made present in our lives. Jesus died so that we could be with him forever in heaven to bring us to the Father and to share eternity together in perfect love. How does that enter into our lives? It’s through these sacraments.
When we’re baptized, that life-saving grace, that salvation of the Cross is infused into our soul and changes us for eternity. And then we journey through the other sacraments as God continues to pour that grace into us. He strengthens us through the Eucharist and strengthens His gifts within us through Confirmation. He heals us both body and soul, and He’s there as we make lifelong commitments, as we give ourselves in love for others in service; He’s there as we die so that we can transition into eternal life with Him. The sacraments really are the way that God wants to be present through tangible signs to show us what He’s doing to work in our souls.
So that’s what we’re going to be doing through these next videos of Beyond the Pew is helping you help your kids enter more deeply into these beautiful gifts, the sacraments. Today we’re going to spend a little bit of time focusing on the Eucharist, which is probably the sacrament that we have the most access to. We can receive it daily if we would like, but I think sometimes the sacrament we take the most for granted.
I know many people don’t believe that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, but what a beautiful gift we have that Jesus loves us so much that he can’t bear to be apart with us, that he humbles himself to come among us under the appearance of bread and wine so that he can strengthen us and nourish us, so that he can abide with us. And so that we can become what we eat, through receiving the Eucharist we’re called to be more like Christ, and our lives are called to continuously be transformed when we meet Jesus in the Eucharist. I think the most important thing we can do for our families and for our children to help them enter into the sacrament, is to show them what it is to encounter Christ in the Eucharist and to tell them about our own encounters with Jesus in the Eucharist. Because if we’re not showing them Christ’s true presence in the Eucharist and the way that we receive Him when we receive Him at mass, how are they supposed to know that. We’re setting an example.
So there are many ways that we can model for them how to meet Christ deeply every time we go to Mass. So that can start with the way that we reverence the Eucharist with our bodies, that we show respect for the space of the church, that there’s a difference when we enter in because Christ dwells here and it’s a place set apart for Him. It’s His temple. As we genuflect we hail Him as king, He’s here in our presence so we genuflect before we sit in the pew. During the Eucharistic prayer, we pay attention to the words and we take them to heart. We bow during the consecration all because we’re drawn into His presence among us. Our children, our youth they see that. It speaks, and there are other ways as well we can share with our young people the times of prayer that we have with Jesus in the Eucharist.
And so that we can become what we eat, through receiving the Eucharist we’re called to be more like Christ
So when we come back to our pews and we take a time of thanksgiving, a time to pray intimately with Jesus who we’ve just received during communion, our young people should see that, and we can share the fruits of that prayer with them on the ride home. Maybe you can say, “I gave thanks for grandma’s health today. She had surgery and she’s recovering really well. And that’s what I talked to Jesus about after communion. What did you talk to Jesus about.” Maybe on the way to Mass we say, “You know what, I’ve really been struggling with this sin, or I’ve really been frustrated with work, and I’m going to offer that up as a sacrifice during Mass. So when we pray the Eucharistic prayers, I’m going to put that on the altar. What are you going to put on the altar today, as we participate in the Eucharistic prayer?” We can also talk about petitions that we’re going to leave during communion. We can talk about the ways that we’re strengthened in our daily lives because of our receiving Christ in the Eucharist.
Really the most important thing is to encounter Christ there ourselves, and then to let that affect everything we do, and to not hide that from our children. We need to be bold in sharing what the Eucharist means to us and the ways that Christ is coming to encounter us in the Eucharist. Know that we’re praying for you, now and and we’ll be praying for you throughout the rest of the series, hoping that you and your family can enter more deeply into the gifts of the sacraments. God bless.