How Much Does Jesus Love Us? – Fr. Tom Tank

Fr. Tom Tank’s Homily June 21, 2020

“Well children this is a wonderful day for you! It’s a day you’ve been looking forward to for a long time and it’s a day that’s going to impact your entire futures as you continue to experience that wonderful presence of Christ in Holy Communion and I have to mention that Fr. Viet wanted to be here today, to be with you.  Does anyone know what happened to Fr. Viet?  Yes, he broke his leg. That’s right so he broke his leg and he has to keep his leg up because the pain is so bad when he doesn’t so he couldn’t be here with you , but he asked me to say how much he wanted to be with you and he’s praying for you today.
Why is first communion important?  Because we receive Jesus!  It’s very simple isn’t it?  It’s because we receive Jesus.  Why do you think Jesus wants to come to you and to me in holy communion?  Because he loves us!  Simple enough. He loves us. He wants us to be with him all our lives and not only in this life but forever in Heaven doesn’t he?  And so when he comes to us in holy communion it’s to share his life, his love with us and that that is the important thing that we do is to know that Jesus loves us, but how much does Jesus love you?  Does he love you that much?  What do you think, no?  How about this much?  No?  How about that much?  Nope?  How about this much?  No?  How about this much?  Closer to it, isn’t it, but it even goes beyond that doesn’t it?  Jesus loves us totally.  He loves us so much and with my arms stretched out, what does this remind you of?  What’s right above me?  Jesus on the cross.  He loved us so much that he died for us.  That’s how much Jesus loves you and loves me and loves each and every human being.  He loves us so much that he died for us.  He loves us so much that he died for us that our sins would be forgiven and that we would have everlasting life.  Wow!  That is really important and it’s important to realize why Jesus comes to us.  If you love someone you want to be with them you want to share their life.  If you like a friend, don’t you want to be with a friend?  Sure you do!  If you love mom and dad, you want to be with mom and dad.  You like being with mom and dad okay?  So, love is a way that draws us into union and that’s the reason why Jesus comes to us in holy communion.  He loves us so much that he wants to be our friend.  He wants us to know him as our God, our savior, but our friend, our brother.  Jesus loves us so much that he wants to come and to share our life.  How lucky and fortunate we are that God himself loves us so much and he comes to us not in a way to overpower us, but he comes in simplicity.  The babe of Bethlehem came as an innocent and yet it was the very God himself who took on human nature in that babe of Bethlehem.  He didn’t come as the baby of Bethlemen in order to overwhelm us with his physical power, but rather to win us with the power of love.  The Eucharist contains the word become flesh, that babe of Bethlehem and Jesus once again when he establishes his kingdom he doesn’t do it with a mighty army, he does it on the throne of a cross, once again not to overwhelm us but to invite us to realize how much he loves us and to invite us to love him in turn and that’s the crucial thing for us.  We know how much Jesus loves us and our challenge is, how can I love Jesus?  How can I show my love for Jesus?  And that’s simple isn’t it too?  We say our prayers every day.  We come to Mass and I know that not everybody can come to Mass right now, but when we can we come to Mass regularly, every week.  We show kindness and love towards others.  Those are ways in which we show our love for Jesus.  Jesus has shown his love for us and he comes to us to give us the grace and the strength so that we can truly love him in turn.

We say that the Eucharist is spiritual food.  It’s spiritual food.  Did you have something today for breakfast or lunch?  I had a smoothie today for lunch.  What did you have?  Yes, doughnuts!  Whoa, a lot better than a smoothie okay.  What else?  Yes, chicken nuggets.  Chocolate what?  That sounds good.  I ate at the wrong place!  Yes, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, alright.  Now, we need food in order to keep our body strong don’t we?  That’s why we need food.  If we didn’t eat food we would get weak, but because we eat food we’re growing, we’re getting stronger and we’re able to do more things.  Food is very essential for us and so food for our body, but we also need food for our soul!  And if we don’t have food for our soul, then we’re going to get spiritually weak.  We’re going to get lazy.  We’re going to even dry up spiritually and what is the food for our soul?  Jesus.  It’s the gift of love.  Each and every one of us, your mom and dad, your grandparents, every one of us needs love and that’s what Jeus gives us in every Eucharist.  He gives us his very self.  He says in every Eucharist, ‘I love you.  I hope you love me as well.’”