First Holy Communion

Children, I want you to remember one very important thing.  If you remember this important fact, you will never be lost in your relationship with Jesus.  That one thing is that God loves you very much.  God made you because he loves you.  Because he loves you, he had to make you, because he couldn’t live without you.  God is love – we know that – and the only thing he can do is love.  God loves you more than words can possibly say.  I want you always to remember that.

And that’s really why we’re here today, isn’t it?  You’re all dressed up so nicely, and you’ve come here with excitement in your hearts, and you look forward to doing something new!  God is excited too; I can tell you that!  Today, he is going to give himself to you in a whole new way: he is going to give you the Body and Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist.  Jesus gives us his Body and Blood so that he can be present in our lives and show us his love every day.  God does this for us because – you guessed it! – he loves you very much!

We all know the story.  God made us out of love.  Because he loves us, he made a world for us to live in and gave us everything we need to live in happiness.  But somewhere along the way, we messed up, we sinned.  We turned away from God and told him, in a way, that we didn’t want to be his friends any more.  We did not love God as much as he loves us.  But because God loves us, there is no way he would leave that alone.  So he sent Jesus, his only Son, to be one of us.  He was born into our world as a little baby, and he grew up and lived among the people at that time.  He went through the world and taught the Good News that God loves us, and he healed the sick and did mighty deeds.  When the time came, he did what he came here for.  He died on the Cross to pay the price for our sins – not his, because he never sins – for our sins, he died.  And then, because death and sin could not have the final word in the world, he rose to new life that lasts forever.  He went back to heaven and has prepared a place for each of us to go if we just follow him there.  God loves us so much, he wants us all to be with him and be happy with him one day.

But we ourselves still sin sometimes, don’t we?  Sometimes we still say to God, by our actions and sometimes our words, that we don’t love him as much as he loves us.  But again, he doesn’t want to ever leave things that way.  So he gave us a way to become his friends again; he gave us the Sacrament of Penance in the Church so that our sins could be forgiven and we could experience his love once again.  You celebrated that sacrament for the first time just before Christmas.  God wants to forgive our sins because he loves us that much!

With our sins forgiven, he wants to be present to us all the time.  So before he left the world, he gave us the Sacrament of the Eucharist – his Body and Blood poured out in love for us – so that he could be with us forever.  Today, you get to receive that wonderful sacrament for the very first time, and no one is as happy about that as God is!  God is happy because he loves you very much and wants to be with you forever.

So it is very important that this isn’t the only time you receive Holy Communion.  As important as your First Holy Communion is, your second and third and hundredth and millionth Holy Communions are even more important!  This isn’t a one-time-only thing; God want to show us all the time how much he loves us, and he does that in a very special way in the Holy Eucharist.  So you will be coming back for your second communion later this evening or some time tomorrow, and that will be exciting.  When you do, you should wear your special First Eucharist clothes if you can so that everyone can celebrate with you.

And you need to take your parents to Mass with you every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation.  Because it’s important that they also know how much God loves them!  Make sure that you all come to Church every week so that God can continue to keep you close in his love.

The most important thing you need to know is that God loves you very much.  There is nothing he wouldn’t do to be with you.  He looks forward to giving you everything you need to be with him forever.  If anyone ever asks you what the most important thing is that you have learned about God, you know the answer: God loves you very much!