- The First time matters

   - Sowing a seed

Father Jim's homily begins with a vivid comparison, likening the first experiences of prominent figures like Lionel Messi, Ash Barty, and Taylor Swift in their respective fields to the first Holy Communion for the children in the parish. He emphasizes the potential life-defining impact of these initial moments, suggesting that receiving Holy Communion could similarly shape the lives of these young parishioners.

He explains the concept of the Kingdom of God, using Jesus’ metaphor of a small seed growing into a large tree to illustrate how something as seemingly modest as Holy Communion can have a profound effect on one's life. This idea of growth from small beginnings is central to his message, encouraging the children to see the significant potential in their act of receiving Communion.

Father Jim introduces a mantra to the children: 'Sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.' This saying, meant to inspire ongoing spiritual development, emphasizes the importance of repetitive action in forming good habits, character, and ultimately, shaping one's destiny.

He stresses the importance of making Holy Communion a regular practice, rather than a one-time event. By likening it to daily habits like brushing teeth or using good manners, he suggests that communion should become a natural and frequent part of their lives, reinforcing its significance through repetition.

Father Jim moves on to discuss how habitual actions evolve into character traits. He encourages the children to reflect on the deeper meaning of Communion—receiving Jesus Christ—and to let this understanding transform them into individuals who embody Christlike qualities, particularly service and humility.

He elaborates on the virtue of service, inspired by Jesus’ example at the Last Supper. Father Jim challenges the cultural norms that often discourage serving others, urging the congregation to find joy and purpose in acts of service, which contribute to personal growth and community betterment.

Concluding the homily, Father Jim ties the initial act of receiving Communion to the ultimate Christian goal of eternal life with God. He emphasizes that the journey towards this destiny begins now, with each Communion, and that the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is as real and transformative as His presence in heaven. He calls the community to embrace this opportunity to sow today's acts into the fabric of their destiny.

Journal and reflect on the following questions
  1. Initial Experience: Reflect on an early experience in your life that had a significant impact on your future. How does this compare to the potential impact of your first Holy Communion, as suggested by Father Jim?
  2. Growth from Small Beginnings: How can small actions or decisions in your daily life grow into significant spiritual or personal development? Can you think of an example where a small habit grew into something much larger in your life?
  3. Mantra of Habit: Consider the mantra 'Sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.' How does this apply to your spiritual practices? Are there any acts you could start sowing today to reap a positive habit?
  4. Importance of Habit: Why do you think Father Jim emphasizes making Holy Communion a habit rather than a one-time event? How could making other spiritual practices habitual affect your life?
  5. Character Transformation: In what ways do you think receiving Holy Communion can help develop a Christlike character? What specific character traits of Jesus do you feel are most important to emulate?
  6. Service as a Lifestyle: Father Jim highlighted service as a key aspect of Jesus' character. How can you incorporate more acts of service into your daily life? What might be the challenges and rewards of adopting a servant-like character?
  7. Eternal Perspective: How does understanding that receiving Holy Communion connects you to the eternal presence of Jesus change your perspective on this sacrament? How might this connection influence your actions and choices day by day?

Song - Remembrance - Matt Maher

Final Prayer

Loving Father,

We come before You in humble gratitude for the gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ, whom we receive in Holy Communion. As these small seeds of bread become a part of us, may they plant within our hearts the roots of a deep and enduring faith. Just as a seed grows into a mighty tree, let this holy sacrament nurture our souls, growing us into strong, faithful followers of Your Word.

Lord, guide our actions to sow goodness in the world, turning each act into a habit of holiness, each habit into a character like Christ’s, and each character into a destiny aligned with Your eternal kingdom. May this first Communion not merely be a memory, but the beginning of a lifelong journey of faith and devotion.

Help us to embrace the lessons of service and love as demonstrated by Jesus at the Last Supper. Inspire us to serve others humbly and to walk in kindness and compassion, reflecting Your love in all that we do. As we grow in Your grace, may we be ever mindful of the transformative power of receiving Christ, carrying His presence in our hearts each day.

Strengthen us, O God, to be bearers of Your light in this world. Let us reap the joy of service, sow the seeds of Your Gospel, and ultimately share in the promise of eternal life with You.

In Jesus’ name, we pray,


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16 June 2024

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