Today we celebrate the First Communion of our young children here at St. Thomas the Apostle. What a wonderful day to hear again in our readings for the day of Jesus’ command to “love one another, because God is of love. ”(I John4:7) Or in the Gospel: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love…”(John 15:9)
To love to the extent of giving life translates into KINDNESS, SERVICE, and DOING GOOD toward others. Loving may at times demand of us an enormous sacrifice. Each set of parents of our First Communicants know that as they watch their children grow up, become independent, and commit errors. They cannot save them from their mistakes. But they also know that forming them in the faith and educating them in values that last for a lifetime is part of their calling. And so we, as a Catholic community, become a part of that education through our example.
As our young people come forward for the first time to receive Jesus in the Eucharist today, let us pray that they continue to grow in the love that Jesus has called each of them to imitate. They need us to give them an example of a community of faith who values them and invites them to be of goodness and right, to love one another just as we are commanded to do.
Congratulations to our First Communicants. May Jesus be your source of true strength and nourishment, and may you bear fruit in your lives. Come frequently to the table with your parents to receive Jesus again and again, so that you remain strong in doing good with your family and friends.
Thanks, too, to each of our catechists of 1st Communion.