First Communion Mass

My dear children, today is a very special day for you who are about to make your First Holy Communion but it is also a special joy for all of us here celebrating with you.  Today, you will receive Jesus into your souls for the very first time.  Your faith and the joy and excitement that you have as you receive the Most Blessed Sacrament for the first time inspires us all.  The occasion of your First Holy Communion should be a reminder for all of us of the joy that we had at our first Communion and your joy and excitement is also a reminder of the attitude that we should all have in our hearts when we receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.  Holy Communion is a very special grace because in Holy Communion we receive God into our hearts.  God loves us so much that He wants to be with us always.  When we love someone, we want to spend time with that person.  God loves each one of us so much that He wants to be with us all the time.  Of course God is present everywhere, He is never absent from us; the problem is that we are not always present to Him.  God wants us to be aware of that He is always near us and He wants us to think of Him often and love Him with our whole heart.  He wants us to spend time with Him in prayer.  He wants to join Himself to our souls in Holy Communion.

When we receive Holy Communion, we are joined with Jesus in a very special way.  We are never so close to God in this world as we right after we have received Him in the Eucharist.  After we receive Jesus in Holy Communion, we should spend time with Him in prayer and thank Him for giving Himself to us.  After we have received Holy Communion it is good to tell Jesus whatever is on your heart.  It is good to talk to Jesus while He is so closely united with your soul.  We are never so close to God in this world as when we have just received Him in Holy Communion.

When we receive Jesus in the Eucharist, He gives many gifts to our hearts.  When we receive the Eucharist grace is poured into our souls.  Grace is the very life of God.  When we say that God gives us His grace, we mean that He shares His divine life with us.  When God gives us grace, He shares with us His life, His love, His strength, His peace and His joy.  We need to be open to receive all the gifts that God wants to give to us in Holy Communion.  The more we open our hearts are to receive His graces, the more graces we will receive.  The best way to open our hearts is to make sure that there isn’t any sin on our souls.  Sin clutters up our hearts and gets in the way of our friendship with Jesus.  We need to clear sin out of our hearts in order to make room for God.

We should do everything we can to be aware of what we are doing whenever we receive Holy Communion.  We should always try to always remember Who it is that we are encountering in the Holy Eucharist.  It is good to receive Communion with all the attention and devotion and love that we possibly can.  That means that we should try to focus our attention on God as we come forward for Communion.  We should be aware that it is Almighty God Who is gives Himself to us in Communion.

We should also remember that God gives us Himself to us for a reason: He loves us and He wants to be with us and He also wants to make us more like Himself.  God is love and through giving Himself to us in the Eucharist, He wants to make us more loving.  God is love and through Holy Communion, God fills our hearts with Himself: that means that He fills our hearts with love.  Through Holy Communion, God wants to give us all the spiritual help and strength that we need to faithfully follow Jesus.

In order to follow Jesus, we have to live the way that He taught us that we should live.  All of Jesus’ teachings, in fact the whole Bible, are summed up in the two most important commandments that Jesus gave to us: Love God above everything else and love your neighbor as yourself.  We are all called to faithfully follow Jesus by loving God and by loving others.  And how does Jesus call us to love others?  Jesus calls us to love others as He has loved them.  That is a pretty high standard that we are called to live up to.  Jesus always put other people first.  Jesus said that He came not to be served, but to serve.  Jesus laid down His life for those He loved.

In order to live the love that we are called to, we need God’s help, and one of the most powerful ways that God helps us is through the Sacraments.  The Sacraments are different ways that God gives His divine grace, His life, to our souls.  By ourselves Jesus says that we can do nothing, but with God’s help we can do everything.  Through the Eucharist God shares His life with us; He communicates Himself to our souls and more and more closely unites us with Himself every time we receive Him in Holy Communion.  If we regularly receive the Eucharist, with hearts that are open to all that God wants to do in our souls, we will grow in love.  Even if we don’t feel any different after receiving Holy Communion, we know that God is working on our hearts to make them more like the Heart of His Son.

Another Sacrament that is very important for us is the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  We need the Sacrament of Reconciliation for all the times that we fail to love God and others as Jesus calls us to love them.  If we receive those two Sacraments, Communion and Reconciliation, regularly with hearts that are open to all the gifts that God wants to give to us, then God will fill our hearts with His love and we will become channels of His grace and His love for others.

May God bless all of you boys and girls who are about to receive Jesus today for the first time in Holy Communion.  May Jesus draw you and all of us ever closer to Himself.  May God fill all our hearts with His life and His love and make us more like His Son, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

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