In all human societies there are rites of passage that marks the transition from childhood to adulthood. Some of these rituals were physical tests of strength, the marking of bodies with scars or tattoos. In times past some of these rituals were more prominent than they are today. In our Catholic community we too have rites of initiation through the Sacraments we receive. These rites begin with Baptism when our parents and godparents make promises on our behalf to follow Jesus as Catholics. As we get older and able to make decisions for ourself we continue our rites of initiation, receiving the sacraments of Reconciliation, First Communion and finally confirming this choice in the rituals of Confirmation.
Currently in our Parish over 30 children are taking the next step in their rites of initiation as a Catholic by receiving their First Holy Communion. This celebration is the culmination of months of preparation and education in order to ensure that the children understand the significance of the choice they make in receiving this sacrament. These children are saying ‘Yes’ to following Jesus and becoming a member of our Catholic family.
Over the weekend I witnessed our children participating in a moving ceremony where they joined Father Denis and Father Matinho around the altar. This action calls us to remember the last supper when Jesus began the final stages of his journey towards becoming our saviour by making the ultimate sacrifice of his life. Being a follower of Jesus is a challenge. By following through with these rites of initiation we endeavour to live with faith, justice, compassion and forgiveness.
I wonder if you recall your own First Holy Communion?
What did it mean for you?
How have you continued to live the spirit of this sacrament?
I congratulate all the children who have made their First Holy Communion and welcome them to our Catholic family. Together we accept the responsibility to nurture the spiritual development of these young people.