Today is a very special day because what you will receive this morning will indeed change you for the rest of your life. By accepting this simple gift from God, by eating this Bread and drinking from this Cup you will accept with thankfulness the life of God in your heart.
Eating no other food can do this. Eating this Bread of Life will help you remember three very important things in your life:
- God loves me.
- I love God, and
- Because I love Jesus, I love my neighbor.
I remember my First Communion day very well. It was a sunny day, 49 years ago in the Church where I was baptized. There are even pictures of me in my navy blue suit and white communion tie. The church looked very beautiful.
But at the heart of my wonderful memories is this one. Jesus entered my heart and with Jesus, God himself was with me. I realized this is a gift of love that is worth more than anything the world can give.
So on that day I was happy, because Jesus was inside me. I was 7 years old then and now approaching 56, it is still at the center of my life.
I promised then I would do my best to worship God with the parish on Sundays and holydays and that I would always receive Holy Communion worthily. And you know what? The Lord has always taken me by the hand and guided me, even in difficult situations.
I hope that for all of you your First Communion will be the beginning of a lifelong friendship with Jesus in our parish and that together we can begin a journey of faith because when we walk with Jesus we do well and life becomes good.
Some of you will not be able to come to Christ on Sundays. Your families will have other priorities or Holy Communion will take a lesser role in your life.
But you know what to do. You know how to prepare to receive Holy Communion worthily, don’t you? You go to Confession. You now can ask a priest for confession any time you need to confess your sins. You don’t have to wait. All of us who are privileged to receive our Lord in communion want to receive him worthily, so if we have serious sin on our soul, we see a priest so we can have our sins forgiven.
It is very helpful to confess to a priest regularly. It is true: our sins can be always the same, but we clean our homes, our rooms, at least once a week, even if the dirt is always the same don’t we? Otherwise, the dirt just keeps building up!
It is the same for our souls, if I never go to confession, if I begin to ignore my soul I will grow up thinking only about myself and no longer understand that I need to become an adult. And this cleaning of the soul, which Jesus gives us in the Sacrament of Confession, helps us to make our consciences more alert, more open, and hence, it also helps us to mature spiritually and as human persons.
So remember boys and girls, these two sacraments are our friends because Jesus wants to stay with us at every moment in our lives.
You are always welcome here among your parish family who want to help you grow and know God more deeply. If together your family finds time for God, your family will find time for each other.
My dear Parents and Friends,
The Eucharist is not a moment in your child’s life; it is your child’s life. It is an attitude about life. It orients the person toward self-sacrifice, humility before God, and caring for the dignity of every human person. If your child grows up thinking that what is important is worldly success alone then there will be no time to spend in the hearth of the family. The Eucharist is the heart of the family and Confession is the health of the family. With these two sacraments, our families can mature in their knowing of the Holy Family.
Trust your parents to be good examples for you in receiving Holy Communion. Do what they do because they believe that what you accept today will change your life and the life of the world.
Congratulations to you and your families. Our parish and the whole Church gives thanks to God through Mary, Mother of Divine Providence who offers us this very special gift-the whole life of His Son because He loves you.