Fr. Paschal Morlino, O.S.B., Pastor of Saint Benedict Church was happy to celebrate First Communion at Saint Benedict. His homily may be read below.
Girls and boys, you have been waiting for today for a long time and now you are thrilled. Today is an important and special today for you and that is why we are all here for you. I have never seen you looking as well as you do this morning. You look like princesses and princes! You have put on your best clothes to meet Jesus in Holy Communion. But more important than the clothes you wear is that you have also prepared your hearts to meet Jesus.
That is why you made your First Confession and recently again your second Confession. You have been praying to Jesus every day because you want to make sure your heart is ready for Jesus. When you receive Jesus in Holy Communion, you will tell him you love him, and you will thank him for coming to you.
After Mass everyone will want to meet you and be photographed with you. I am sure you will have lots of nice things to eat. Jesus also wants you to have fun. He wants you to enjoy yourselves. Just remember that it is all because Jesus has come to you. You will get gifts and envelopes and cards with money inside.
But the most important gift today is Jesus coming to you in Holy Communion. Jesus coming to you is the best gift you will receive today. Jesus is more important than all the money or presents or nice food. Continue to pray to Jesus and Mary every day because they love you so much.
Parents, this is a great day for you also. Today your children are fully nourished with you around the table of the Lord for the first time. Today your family is united in Jesus, the only one who nourishes us fully. When you had your children baptized you were reminded that you are their first teachers of their faith. They learned their faith from you before anybody else as you taught them to make the sign of the cross and to say their prayers. During these early years, you have helped them so much to know about God. For many years to come what you say and do will influence their faith and their friendship with Jesus and Mary. No matter who the teacher is, who may be excellent, or what the parish does, unless the children sense their parents’ faith they will not absorb faith. The faith you hand on will be their strength through life.
Parents be strong in your faith and give your children good example of faith and hope in Jesus.
You dear parents hand on faith, you have no choice about that. The choice you have is to hand on the faith badly or well. Your family needs faith in God. It is not something they need only when there is a crisis. Teachers and priests cannot plant faith in the heart of your children if you do not. Jesus said, “What does it profit to gain the whole world but to lose your soul?” (Mark 8:36; Matt 16:26)
Today is a very happy day for everybody else here because relations, friends, teachers, people of the parish have all watched these children grow and helped them on their friendship with God. I know you are praying for them today and will continue to pray for them.
Girls and boys, I still remember my First Holy Communion and remember the seat in the Church where I sat with my family. I hope you don’t forget today, your First Holy Communion Day. Jesus wants you and your families to be happy today. Jesus wants to come into your heart because he loves you. Always remember that Jesus loves you. Keep your hearts pure and always open for Jesus. He is always there for you. No matter what happens in your life Jesus is there for you.