The Gift of the First Communion
“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”(John 6:35)
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ, allow me first to wish a happy and blessed First Communion to Gavin, Christopher, Giancarlo, & Tiffany; our four youth who today accept the Gift of life from the Lord at the hand of the priest and in the Holy Church.
Today, with the first communion, the youth here present, achieve the full itinerary of Christian initiation. They have been Baptized, they have been Confirmed, they went to first Holy Confession in the sacrament of reconciliation, and now they are ready to receive Jesus in the flesh and blood, under the two species of bread and wine.
On behalf of the Church community, the councils and the ministries of the ladies’ and men’s societies in our parish, and on behalf of Bishop Elias Zaidan, I’d like to congratulate the parents and the candidates. I would also like to address a word of acknowledgment to Ms. Linda Craven, the Religious teacher who accompanied the youth and made sure they received the proper religious education on behalf of the Church.
I ask us all to start thinking about Jesus as “the Gift of the Father” given to save us from our sins, cleanse us from our iniquity and to grant us eternal life.
Please pray for our Holy Father who is in Egypt on this Third Sunday of the Resurrection. The Holy Father has already preached that Religion and violence are irreconcilable. Pope Francis told Pope Tawadros of the Coptic Church that the blood of the martyrs unite the church and puts us in full communion as the Mystical Body of the Glorified Christ. The Pope also urged the Muslim world to work with the Religious Communities of the Middle East and especially the Christians in order to stop the fanaticism and all forms of violent rhetoric and acts in the name of religion.
Please pray for our Holy Father, Pope Francis, as he goes to the heart of the Middle East carrying with him the Icon of the Holy Family in their Flight to Egypt. The Pope has given this icon as a gift to all the public officials that he has met with until now.
May God bless us all and may the Risen Christ protect our children and unite them in his body of the Church in holiness and in grace.
Fr. Andre Mahanna