Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We are in the third week of the Season of Pentecost and today we reflect on our Christian life and how honest we are in living it. In the Letter of Saint Paul, he invites to live what Jesus says through our actions. And in the Gospel of this Sunday, it asks: What are the conditions of allowing Jesus to live in our hearts?
Over the last two weeks, over one hundred of our sons and daughters have experienced for the first time, Jesus in their hearts through the Sacrament of the Eucharist, receiving their first Holy Communion. In my homily, I asked the children, parents and teachers to explain to me “why they were so happy today?”
Ofcourse, many explained it is because they were receiving Jesus, others because it is the beginning of a new spiritual journey and so on. The joy on their faces was wonderful and the whole church was radiating this joy. I went on to tell them a little story about the French Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte. He was a very powerful man who ruled many nations and nearly the whole world. One day, somebody asked him: What is the most important day in your life? They expected him to say: the day I was crowned Emperor or my royal wedding day or the day that he won a battle. But Napoleon answered by saying: “The most important day of my life was my First Holy Communion Day.”
Wow! What a response. I like many were amazed that this was his response. However, when we think about this a little bit, we really have no reason to be amazed. If we think about it clearly, this should really be the response of each one of us. Our first Holy Communion ofcourse should be the most important and happiest day of our lives because we are receiving our King and Saviour into our hearts. We are receiving God!
For this reason, we encourage our parents to help their children understand this reality. Although the Church tries very hard to teach your children and help them to understand the truth of our Catholic teachings, it is up to you to be their role models. Everything that we have taught them over the last five months is nothing compared to the example that you give them on a daily basis. Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ is not just an act that we must tick as completed on our list of things to do, it is a life-long commitment to the promises we make with Christ.
On behalf of my brother priests, I would like to congratulate all the children that received Holy Communion for the first time over the last two weeks and their families. I would also like to thank the Holy Communion teachers who have travelled with the children for the last five months preparing them to receive this holy sacrament. Your hard work and dedication is truly a testament to your love of Christ and his Church. May the Lord who is ever present in the Eucharist, be the source and summit of the abundant love of God in your lives.