Prepare to be heard

Homily of the month

It's good to be together

We call it “Holy Communion” because it’s good to be together. When we are together, with family and friends and neighbors, we are in communion with each other, writes Father Paul Boudreau in PREPARE THE WORD's featured homily for First Communion.

PREPARE THE WORD's library includes insightful sample homilies for funerals, sacraments, holy and feast days, and special occasions. We regularly add new homilies to the mix. Feel free to submit a homily you've written or from someone on your parish preaching team that you want to offer for consideration. Send homilies to

Sacrament: First Communion
Reading: John 6:35

IT'S SO GOOD TO BE TOGETHER. Everybody is here. All you wonderful children of our community are here with your families: mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles and cousins. Godparents and grandparents are here; a special welcome to all the grandparents with us today. We know you are instrumental in maintaining and passing on our Catholic faith and traditions to the next generation.

“I am the bread of life,” Jesus says. What we celebrate today, what we celebrate every time we gather for Mass, for Eucharist, for Holy Communion, is the life of Jesus in us. We say it on Sunday; we’ll say it today when we recite the Creed together: “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life.” That means it’s the Spirit of Jesus in us that gives us life. We can feel Jesus in us right now. Are you alive? Do you feel life in you? That’s the Holy Spirit of Jesus in us giving us life.

We call it “Holy Communion” because it’s good to be together. That’s what “communion” means: being together.

To celebrate this great gift, this gift of life in us, we eat and drink the very real Body and Blood of Christ, the sacred, living presence of Christ in the form of bread and wine. And today, dear children, you join all the grownups in this celebration, receiving this Holy Communion with us for the first time.

Why do we call it “Holy Communion”? Well, first of all because it’s holy. It reminds us that the life we receive from God is holy; that the life in every living thing is holy. This holiness of life begins when our lives first begin in our mother’s body. (Thank you, mothers, for welcoming us into your bodies and into the world. And for bringing us to birth and bringing us up.) And “holy” means it’s from God. YOU are from God. Your life is holy. God created you and gave you the Holy Spirit of life. So when we receive the sacred Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion, we are reminded that we are holy and our lives are holy.

And “holy” means that we honor and treasure this life, every life, because life is sacred. That’s why Jesus taught us to love our enemies, even to care for the people we don’t like. So when we hear about the poor people of the world who suffer from hunger, who have no place to live, who have to run from their homes because of war or gangs, we have to do something about it. We have to help. There are children just like you who are at the borders of America, on the other side of the wall, who have had to run from their neighborhoods in other countries because of violence or because their parents were too poor to feed them. They need our help because their lives are holy. And there is enough room and food and wealth in America to share with them and help them. (PAUSE)

And our planet Earth, the place where we all live, needs our help. Earth is suffering from misuse and it will become too hot for us to live here. Our lives are holy and we must find ways to heal the Earth.

We call it “Holy Communion” because it’s good to be together. That’s what “communion” means: being together. When we are together like this, like we are right here, with family and friends and neighbors together with us, we are in communion with each other. And it is good to be together.

And together with us is God. Whenever we enter our church, we are in the presence of God, the very REAL Presence of God. When we assemble to celebrate Mass, God is with us. Jesus our Lord is present with us. When the word of God is proclaimed, right here where the reader reads the readings, Christ is present in the words we hear. That’s why it’s so important for us to listen carefully to the readings. It is God speaking to us from the Bible.

God is even present in the priest because he welcomes all of us to the table of the Lord’s Supper and speaks the words of Jesus that make the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ.

And Christ is really present in the Holy Communion that we eat and drink together. Why? Because Jesus wants to be in communion with you and me. God wants to be the life in you and me. God wants to be together with you and me and all of us. Because it’s always good to be together.

©2024 by TrueQuest Communications, LLC.; 312-356-9900; You may reprint any material from Prepare the Word in your bulletin or other parish communications you distribute free of charge with the following credit: Reprinted with permission from Prepare the Word ( ©2024 ),