Wednesday, May 18, 2011

First Communion Homily

I am so happy for you.

Everyone here today is happy to be a part of such a special day.

You are going to receive Jesus for the first time.

It is natural for you to feel excited and maybe even a little nervous. You are about to welcome into your heart the greatest man who ever lived, Jesus.

How does Jesus come to meet you today? In the form of bread.

All of us have bread in sandwiches and sometimes with butter and jelly. But the bread you will be receiving today is much different. It is not soft and fluffy like the bread we eat everyday. This bread is special. When the priest prays over this bread, it changes into the body of Jesus.

So when you look at this special bread, you are looking at Jesus. When you hold this bread, you are holding Jesus. And when you receive this bread, you are receiving Jesus. The bread does not look any different or taste any different but it becomes different through the power of God.

Today is an important day because Jesus will be coming to make his home within you. For the first time, he will be moving into your heart.

Nobody wants to live in a dirty house, right? Don’t we all want the houses the people we love live in to be clean and neat? Because Jesus is moving into our hearts, we must keep them clean and pure for him. How do we do that? By not sinning. By obeying our parents. By not hurting other children. And by praying every day.

All of you are wearing beautiful white gowns and suits. I’m sure your parents put a lot of work into finding special clothes for you to wear today. Now, when you got dressed this morning, what was the first thing your parents said to you? “Don’t get dirty!” Wouldn’t you feel sad if you came to Mass today with dirt on your beautiful suit or dress? Well, just as you want your clothes to be clean for this special day, so every time you come to Mass to receive Jesus you should want your heart to be clean.

Today is a special day, but it is not the first time you are receiving a sacrament. What two other sacraments have you already received? Baptism and Penance. Both of those sacraments make us clean so that we can receive Jesus. Just as we give our clothes to our mothers and fathers to clean them for us when we get them dirty, so we can go to the sacrament of Penance every time we hurt God by sinning. Then we can make sure that our heart will be a clean and beautiful place for him.

Now, after you receive your first communion, how long will Jesus stay inside you? Do you think he will leave you when Mass is over? Do you think he will leave you when you walk out of the church? No. Jesus will stay inside you. And Jesus will remain inside the other children who are receiving communion with you and all of us who are also receiving him today.

It is important for you to think about that during the day. Jesus is inside you. Jesus is with you all the time wherever you go. You can trust Jesus to help you when you are afraid or when you are hurt. He will never leave you.

Also, Jesus is inside everyone around you. When you are nice to your brothers and sisters, you are being nice to Jesus. When you pick up someone who has fallen down or make someone who is crying feel better, you are helping Jesus.

At the same time, if you hurt someone, you are hurting Jesus. If you call someone names, you are calling Jesus a name. None of us wants to do that, right? So we must ask Jesus to help us be good to others so that we never hurt him.

Why does Jesus want to be inside of you? Because he loves you. It is that simple. We want to be with the people we love, with our family and friends. Just so, Jesus wants to be with us because we love him. And we should show him how much we love him by coming to Mass as often as we can to receive him and be with him. During your life you will have different friends, different teachers and different neighbors. Many things will change in your life as you get older. But you can never lose Jesus. He will always be your friend and he will always be with you now matter how old you get, no matter where you go, no matter what you do.

Never forget this beautiful day. Never forget how special it feels to welcome Jesus into your heart. Keep your heart a place that Jesus can be happy to live in. And come as often as you can to receive this precious gift of the Body of Christ.

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