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First Communion
Sunday, April 22 2012

Let the Children Come...

Children hold a special place in Christ's heart:

Then children were brought to (Jesus) that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." -Matthew 19:13-14, NAB

This weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to watch my young niece receive the Eucharist for the first time.  Her First Communion represents an important step in her formation as a young, Catholic woman, and it was a joy to watch.  From her eagerness to receive the Eucharist to her reaction to the taste of wine, it was a memorable experience.

In the next few weeks, at parishes all over the world, children will be receiving their First Communion.  As a Church, this is an important time for us as we nurture and grow these young souls into faithful Catholics.  What began at Baptism continues at their First Communion and will eventually lead to their Confirmation.

Jesus loved children very much.  In Matthew 19, the disciples tried to keep the children away from Christ, but He welcomes them with open arms and prays for them.  Why did the disciples react like this?  At the time, children were taught their "place" in the world - not to interfere with adult matters - but Christ saw it differently.

What did Christ see in children exactly?  He saw the pureness of their hearts.  Children do not have the same tainted view of the world as we do as adults, and their purity and innocence can be an example for us to follow.  If we truly want to find the path to heaven, then we should have innocent, pure hearts like children.

Even if you do not have any young children of your own, I encourage you to attend a First Communion Mass.  It will not only a memorable experience for the children, but it will be for you as well.


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