According to a Muslim practice, when a boy reaches the age of four years, four months, and four days, he has to go through a ritual that requires him to be brought to a mosque dressed in white. In the mosque, the boy must read and memorize the words of the Koran which have been inscribed on flakes of honey. Once he has committed these words to memory, the flakes of honey are then melted in water. The boy then drinks the mixture of melted honey and water.
This rite, which can be likened to the Catholics’ First Communion, is intended to make the boy realize that the words of Allah are powerful and sweet to taste and give life to one’s soul, just like our communion.
The readings tell us, “The life that comes from God is given to us not only from the table of the Eucharist but also through the Word proclaimed from the lectern.” These words are symbolized by the layout in our churches: the Blessed Sacrament is reserved on one side while the Word of God is proclaimed on the other side.
This arrangement is to signify that both are instruments of life for us. This does not mean that we read the Bible merely to prepare for our reception of the Eucharist. The Word of God is life-giving; the Eucharist is life-giving.
Thus at Mass, it should never be a question of how late one can be to be able to receive Holy Communion; this concern will only imply that the Word of God is less important than the Eucharist.
The Word of God is life-giving as pronounced in the psalms, “How sweet to my taste is your promise.”How important is God’s Word in your life? Some of us say that we are good Catholics, and to prove this we point to our daily reception of the Eucharist.
However, I look forward to the day when we all can say, “I am a good Catholic, I am a daily communicant, I am a daily reader of the Word of life.”
The Eucharist is life-giving. The Word of God is life-giving.
We cannot receive the Eucharist without the priest but we can read in the privacy of our rooms – or anywhere – the Word of God. The Word of God is sweet and life-giving.
How important is God’s Word in your life? I am not saying that the Eucharist is less important, I am simply saying that you should give the Word of God the importance it deserves.
Only Jesus, Always Jesus