Today we celebrate the Mass of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May our Blessed Mother Mary, mother of Jesus, bless you and help you in your lives of faith to grow closer to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. I would like to congratulate you today because you have come to Mass to receive Jesus in your lives in a very special way. As your Pastor, our Parish Community, your parents, teachers and relatives we are proud of you for studying and learning about Jesus to prepare for this day and that you have said yes to Jesus’ sacramental grace and love. Our Lord Jesus Christ blesses you on this special day in your lives and the rest of your lives as you practice your Catholic faith and receive Jesus’ body and blood for your salvation and sanctification.
Here are some questions to think about. Why is this the happiest day of your life? It is because you are receiving the God in your life. Jesus our God and Savior, as the Guest of Honor into your hearts and lives, for the first time, in Holy Communion. Somebody very, very important is coming to stay with you, bless you, protect you and guide you. That is why we have all these celebrations. The next question is, how does Jesus come to our hearts? Jesus comes to our hearts in the form of consecrated Bread and Wine. Do we see Jesus in the bread and wine? No. Can we taste Jesus or touch Jesus or smell Jesus in the Holy Eucharist we receive today? No. Then why do we believe that we are receiving Jesus in Holy Communion? It is because Jesus said that he would be there in the consecrated Bread and Wine. Nothing is impossible for God. So Jesus is really present in the consecrated Host and Wine. Ever since his Resurrection on Easter Sunday Jesus has had a glorified body. In Holy Communion we are receiving that glorified Body of Jesus to nourish our souls. That is why we cannot see or touch or taste Jesus’ human body and blood when we receive Holy Communion.
The next question is why does Jesus come to us as Bread and Wine, as food and drink? You know the reason. We cannot live many days without eating or drinking. Food and drink are essential for the life of our bodies. In the same way spiritual food is essential for the life of our souls. And the Food for our souls is the Body and Blood of Jesus. That is why Jesus said that we will be spiritually dead if we don’t receive his Body and drink his Blood. Thus, we have to receive Jesus in Holy Communion. We have that opportunity every time we participate in a Holy Mass. Then, before we receive Jesus, we ask his pardon and forgiveness for our sins and with great reverence and respect.
A final question: What will we do after receiving Jesus in Holy Communion? First, we will invite Jesus into our heart. Next, we will thank Jesus with joy for coming to our heart. Then we will want to tell him all our needs and the needs of our parents, relatives, teachers and friends. Finally, we will be very happy when we remember that we are carrying Jesus to our homes and schools as Jesus’ mother Mary carried Jesus to her cousin Elizabeth. Because that is true, we will want to behave well because we know we are carrying God Himself in our heart and soul. When we are alone, we can tell Jesus living in our soul about our joys and worries, and about our parents, relatives, teachers, pastors, friends and their needs. We also need to ask Jesus to make us good boys and girls, sons and daughters who honor and obey our parents as their loving, well-behaved children and who behave well in school. Then we need to ask him to help us to succeed in our work at school and at home.
I would like to thank everyone who prepared these boys and girls to receive their first Holy Communion and to remind the parents, grandparents, guardians, and relatives of these children that it is how all of us in the family and all of us who are in the parish family practice our Faith every day – at home, with the neighbors and in our work – that is going to influence our children. Bring them to Mass and continue to teach them their faith to love God and be wonderful disciples of Christ. Hence, we all need to continue to train them in Catholic Christian faith and its practice, not only by advice but more by good, joy filled and holy Catholic Christian lives. Soon at the moment of First Communion Jesus will be very close to you and you will be able to feel that he is with you. May God bless you always.