Today is the day we have all been excited about. I know That your parents, Mom and Dad, worked hard to make this day truly special for you. You look so pretty today If this mass were a beauty contest, I know that there will be a stift contest but you will certainly be one of the finalists. You look so pretty and sweet.
Even if you get the award of being the prettiest today, that would still be nothing unless you are first pretty and sweet in the heart. I know that under your new white dress, there lies a truly pure and holy heart. I know that because you made a very honest and beautiful confession only a few days ago. When you came to me to tell me your sins, I felt my heart warming because I knew as I listened to your faint voice that Jesus is in your heart. Keep Him there and do not allow yourself to be parted from Him.
When I look at you today, I cannot help but remember my first Holy Communion. And I cannot resist reminding you how blessed you really are. When I was a kid like you, my parents were too poor to send me to a private school. I hope you realize how fortunate you are to be able to study at Poveda. How I wish my grade school education were as good and as stable as yours. You are so blessed.
Because I studied in a public school, I had no teacher in religion. I learned about God, I learned how to make the sign of the cross from my ate and my mother. We could not afford having a tutor for Christian Living. Do you see how blessed you are to have Ms. Alvarez, Ms. Hilario and your teachers to prepare you for this day?
When I made my first confession, my parish priest was too busy to listen to the confession of a little boy wishing to receive Holy Communion. I had to queue and fall in line with the other old women who make their confessions in the parish church every Saturday afternoon. How blessed you are to have the priests come to your school and hear your confession. When I finally reached my First Communion day, I borrowed the white polo and white pants and black shoes of a cousin because my parents could not afford them. The only new thing I had was my First Communion candle. Do you see how blessed you are?
When you receive Jesus today, thank Him for His many blessings to you. After receiving Him today, promise Him that you will always try your best to love not only your parents, your lola, and your cousins, but also the maids, the janitors in school, the street children, those who cannot have the same blessings you now enjoy. Do not forget the poor. Look out for ways to help them. Look out for chances to love them. And let them love you in return. They have something to give you also, but only if you will be ready to receive them.
I am so proud of you. I am so happy that you will be receiving Jesus for the first time from me. I will always consider this one of the special blessings of my priesthood. Many years from now, you will look at your album of your First Communion. You would be big by then, certainly more beautiful and radiant. When that day comes, I pray that you will still be able to look at yourself and with joy tell me, tell your Mom and your Dad, that you have kept the purity of your first communion dress unstained and undefiled. Your dress will become yellow with the passage of time. But do not allow your soul to be tarnished in the name of growth.
Keep your heart pure, pure as it is now. Do not lose your childlike sweetness and innocence. Jesus loves you truly. I love you too.
Jesus In My Heart