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A Conversation with Joey on the Way to the Shrine

Today, Joey, my 8-year-old grandson, wanted to go to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, a 30-minute drive away. Following is part of our conversation in the car:

Grandpa: Joey, do you know it's the feast day of your mom today? Joey: Yes, Grandpa, it's the feast of Saint Agnes. G: Good, Joey. Do you know the meaning of Agnes? J: I don't know. G: It means lamb, from the Latin word "agnus," for lamb. J: Okay. G: Your mom said she does not eat lamb. Do you know why? J: No, Grandpa. Why? G: Because she does not want to eat herself. (Grandpa laughs. Joey laughs also.) G: But seriously, she eats Lamb. At least once a week. J: When and where, Grandpa? G: In church. J: (looking puzzled) How is that, Grandpa? G: When the priest raises and shows the consecrated Host to the people, what does he say? J: "Behold the Lamb of God." G: Is that complete? J: "Who takes away the sins of the world," I think. G: Correct. And he adds: "Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb." And what happens after that? J: People line up to receive the Host. G: What does the priest say when he gives the Host to a person? J: He says, "The Body of Christ" G: So the Lamb of God is Jesus. Now you see that your mom eats Lamb every week? J: Yes, Grandpa. G: Do you also eat Lamb? J: Yes, Grandpa. When our family goes to Mass every week. I eat Jesus, the Lamb of God. G: Very good, Joey. You're so smart.

(Joey received his First Holy Communion last year.)

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