So, what’s new? I’ll tell you: Plenty! Today is the Fifth Sunday of Easter. It is also First Communion Sunday. It is also Mother’s Day. Yesterday, two new saints! And next week, graduation. All in May, Mary’s month. What do these have in common? Well, they all deal with new things. The prophet Isaiah says: “Behold, I am doing something new. Do you not perceive it?” So, let’s perceive it!
Spring is a season of new life, new beginnings. Nature buds forth anew. Easter is a season of new life, risen life. Today, Mother’s Day we remember our mothers. Pope Francis, just before leaving Rome for Fatima on Friday reminded us that our mothers said yes to new life, to receiving it and to caring for it. Yesterday, two new saints, Jacinta and Francisco, canonized in Fatima. First Communion Day marks something new, for sure. It is the beginning of a new closeness with Christ, receiving his Body and Blood. So much newness in the spring, in May, on this Fifth Sunday of Easter.
Let’s focus on this First Communion, on what our First Communion meant to us and what it means for our children, receiving the Body and Blood Christ for the first time. God is doing something new indeed! We hear Christ Jesus speak today of “dwelling places.” We become one of those dwelling places, a spiritual house. Today St. Peter encourages us, “Let yourselves be built into a spiritual house.”
Boys and girls, today you receive Christ Jesus in First Communion. We will welcome you to the altar, the table of the Lord, to receive the Body and Blood of Christ. You will be ever closer to Christ, living and risen. He will live in you in a new way. And year by year you become more like Him. You are His delight.
We are all sinners, from the Pope down to everyone here. Yet when we receive the Body and Blood of Christ, our sins are forgiven. In this way, we are made new every time we receive Christ’s body and blood. “Blessed is he who takes away the sins of the world. Only say the word and my soul will be healed.” Christ, his Father and their Holy Spirit will never leave you. You can become holy, saints. Yesterday Pope Francis canonized Jacinta and Francisco, it is the first time in history that children have been made saints! Children can be saints and parents, you must encourage them!
Through receiving His Body and Blood, children, you will be nourished to become leaders of our Church. You will contribute to Christ’s renewing his Church as your families do — to the building up of the Kingdom of God on earth. This is how we show Christ lives in us.
You are the light of our lives, of your families that make up Saint Andrew Church, your parish, our parish. You are our delight. We are very proud of you today. The whole heavenly is proud of you and looks down on you, including and especially Our Lady who we crown today at the end of Mass as Queen of the May. She and all the saints in the heavenly court – and all of us – are all delighted today and most especially, God. You are God’s own delight today and all of us rejoice over you. You are our delight.