In the coming weeks, we will gather together as a Star of the Sea community to celebrate with children from our school and parish as they receive the Sacrament of Eucharist for the first time. As Catholics, we believe that in Holy Communion we are united in a special way with Jesus Christ, for the word 'communion' means to be united with.
This is a very special time for the children, one that I know that they will have many special memories of, just as I’m sure that many of us have special memories from our First Communion day. I would like to share with you a reflection from Benedict XVI that he offered when he was Pope, and was asked about his First Communion Day:
Of course, I remember my First Communion day very well. It was a lovely Sunday in March 1936, 69 years ago. There were so many beautiful things that I remember. But at the heart of my joyful and beautiful memories is this one. I understood that Jesus had entered my heart, he had visited me. And with Jesus, God himself was with me. And I realized that this is a gift of love that is truly worth more than all the other things that life can give.
So, on that day I was filled with great joy, because Jesus came to me and I realized that a new stage in my life was beginning. So, I went on living my life knowing that the Lord has always taken me by the hand and guided me, even in difficult situations.
The day of my First Communion was the beginning of a journey made together.
I hope that for all of you too, the First Communion you have received will be the beginning of a lifelong friendship with Jesus, the beginning of a journey together, because in walking with Jesus we do well; and life becomes good.
(Adapted from Catholic Australia: http://www.catholicaustralia.com.au/the-sacraments/41-baptism/176- first-Eucharist)
First Eucharist is a special occasion and I know that you will join with me in praying for these children and their families as they prepare to receive the Sacrament.