Today for the First time the boys and girls, your sons and daughters, will meet Jesus for the first time in the Eucharist.
by Rev Deacon Michael Kennedy
First Holy Communion Mass 19th June 2022
How did the apostles in that Gospel reading we have just listened to recognise Jesus?
How did they know it was the Lord?
They recognised him in the breaking of bread.
Today for the First time the boys and girls, your sons and daughters, will meet Jesus for the first time in the Eucharist. They have been preparing for a long time, in fact since they day they were baptised. But in recent months they have met together, prayer together, worked together, walked together as they have come to learn about the Lord Jesus. It will be an encounter with the Lord.
The Lord who loves them.
The Lord who has a job for them to do- because when they receive the Lord in the Eucharist, when they receive him in Holy Communion, when they hear those words “ The Body of Christ” “ The Blood of Christ”, they receive Jesus, Jesus truly present, Jesus here with us.
And how do we know this? Because Jesus told us himself - at the Last Supper with his Apostles, he gave them this instruction, Take, Eat, Take Drink, This is my Body - This is my Blood, when you do this, Do this in memory of me.
Jesus comes to us - so that we can go from here, nourished,strengthened, fed. Fed at the Table of plenty - where God provides for all who believe. - Here, at the Table of plenty. That is what we believe.
And we go from here, to be Christ’ Body here on earth- the Church is the Body of Christ, we are the Church- not this building, but you and Me. Today Boys and Girls you will meet Jesus for the first time - and it is a wonderful day for you, for your families, for your friends, for all of us.
Jesus wants to come to you today. Make him Welcome. Make him a part of your life, not just today- but every day. He is your friend, do your best always to be his friend, be his friend by the way you treat other people, with compassion and love, with respect and kindness. Be Jesus to others by what you say and by what you do.
And to do this you will need to do what we all have to do as followers of Christ, to pray, to learn about Jesus in the Bible, and most of all, to come each week here to Mass and receive Jesus each and every time we do.
And also to remember that we need also to tell Jesus we are sorry when we do things wrong, and to make it Right again by celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Two wonderful Sacraments that you have received. Two wonderful ways in which Jesus comes to you. Two wonderful ways for you to be, to have that encounter with Jesus, and to live your lives always aware that the Lord is close to you. And that he loves you.
Dear Parents please encourage your children in their faith, don’t let First Communion be just that. Don’t let First Confession be just that. Make it your task to help your Sons and Daughters to grow in the practice of their faith, bring them to Mass, join with them, and most of all encourage them. Help them to appreciate this wonderful gift they have received, the Gift of Faith. Trust in God.
When the Apostles on that Road to Emmaus, recognised and knew it was Jesus, they were so happy, so excited that they ran all the way back to Jerusalem to tell the other Apostles.
Today you should be full of Joy, as you welcome Jesus into your hearts and into your lives and receive him in Holy Communion. And tomorrow when you come to Mass again to receive your 2nd Communion, you too should be excited.
In fact every time we receive communion, we should rejoice, and give thanks. It is the greatest gift that God has given us, the gift of Jesus his Son, who gave himself for us and who left us this precious, wondrous gift of the Most Holy Eucharist. This is what we believe, that is why when we receive Jesus and we hear those words, The Body of Christ. Our hearts should rejoice, and as we say AMEN.
On this eve of the Feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord, let us pray for these our wonderful children, and ask the Lord to bless them as they walk the road with him, as they come to know him, as they worship and adore him, and most of all as they make that commitment to him today to come and gather each week in his name and receive him in the Eucharist.
This is the day the Lord has made, let us be Glad and rejoice