We Are People of the Eucharist

Towards a renewed love for Holy Communion


Reflections on the Eucharist

by Bishop David Motiuk, Eparchy of Edmonton



January 2023

The Eucharist. Making it Personal.


            We are people of the Eucharist.

            During the pandemic, one of the hardest things for me as a bishop to endure was that the faithful could not regularly receive Holy Communion.

At the same time, this brought me to a renewed realization that while we could pray online and follow online church services, what we truly longed for was to receive Jesus’ very own body and blood. We are people of the Eucharist.

Praise God that that which we hungered for during the pandemic is now within our reach. We can return to the regular reception of Holy Communion, each and every Sunday. That which was lost now is found.

            This year, join me in a series of monthly reflections upon the Eucharist in a desire to rediscover and deepen our love for Jesus’ body and blood, which perhaps before the pandemic we simply took for granted.

            Let us begin with the experience of our very first Solemn Holy Communion.

            For me, it was Sunday, August 7, 1971. I remember it like it was yesterday.

            The Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate had been leading a two-week summer children’s camp at Saint John the Baptist Parish, Lavoy, where my family attended. The camp was to culminate in the reception of First Holy Communion by many of the parish’s young children, something that we looked forward to together with our parents, godparents, and family members.

            Rev. Roman Starodub was our Pastor. He served the Innisfree and District Parishes, rotating once a month on Sundays among the many parishes in the area assigned to him.

            On that particular Sunday, Father Roman celebrated the Divine Liturgy (Mass) with great solemnity, and preached about the Last Supper where Jesus first offered his body and his blood to the disciples, then the moment arrived. With paparazzi everywhere and cameras flashing, each of the children approached to receive for the very first time Holy Communion. Our hearts were filled with love and joy. For a child, it doesn’t get any better!

            As the Divine Liturgy completed and the crowds exited the church, more pictures and congratulations were offered by the parishioners and guests. To top it off a great banquet was held in our honour!

            The Eucharist. Making it personal.

            As we begin our year-long journey, I invite you to recall the memories of your First Solemn Holy Communion. Ask family members to help you fill in the blanks. Find your First Holy Communion certificate and photos from the day.

            But don’t keep the memories for yourself. Share your recalled experiences with your spouse, with your children, and grandchildren. Let them know how important this event was for you, the time that Jesus chose to come and be part of your life and your faith journey.

            We are people of the Eucharist.