January 28, 2019 ~ Jasper Christian Gambito/ St. Peregrine Laziosi Diocesan Shrine. One of the most important events in the life of a Catholic Christian is the first time when he/she receives the Holy Communion. First Holy Communion is among what is referred to as the sacraments of initiation, along with the Sacrament of Baptism, and the Sacrament of Confirmation. These three sacraments are necessary to be taken by Catholics in our journey to becoming full members of the Church. On January 26, 2019, 184 communicants received the Holy Eucharist for the first time in a ceremony led by Rev. Fr. Deogracias Ma. Alejandria Jr., OSM held at St. Peregrine Laziosi Parish. These communicants came from various schools in Tunasan – majority of them came from Tunasan Elementary School while others came from Infant Jesus Montessori Center and Sto. Nino School of Muntinlupa, apart from some walk-ins who came from nearby parishes.
On his homily, Fr. Ike emphasized the importance of receiving the Eucharist because Christ Himself promised that whoever receives His body may have an everlasting life. As a part of our Christian life, it is in the Sacrament of the Eucharist that we encounter our Savior, thus partaking in the communion makes our encounter to Jesus more personal and intimate. As a friend, Jesus wanted His followers to be intimate to Him. One way of establishing intimacy with Christ is by taking communion inasmuch as possible. Excitement in receiving the Eucharist is normal for first communicants; however the excitement should not be about mundane matters such as the ‘taste’ of the host, but rather, excitement should be based on the desire of partaking in the mission of spreading the teachings of Christ so that others may also have everlasting life.
As foods bring nourishment to the body, the Eucharist brings nourishment to the soul. Foods made by men strengthen and at some point, extend our mortal life, but the bread which we receive in communion is Christ Himself, thus receiving Him brings us eternal life. If we neglect in taking proper nourishment, our bodies will starve and would eventually suffer from illnesses. The same is true to our souls when we neglect in hearing the Word of God and in receiving the Eucharist – we will become more vulnerable to the attacks of the devil and would experience spiritual dryness. Thus, the Eucharist becomes our shield against the attacks and intimidation of the enemy since it gives us the courage and strength to thwart the evil plans directed against us by Satan.
At the end of his homily, Fr. Ike challenges the first communicants to become part of the mission of spreading Christ’s love, first by invoking the Holy Spirit, next by invoking the intercession of Mary, our mother, and lastly by becoming example s of a true Christian life.