Fr Bogdan’s message on First Communion Day

On Saturday 5th May 2024, the Polish Community gathered with their children at St Mary Magdalene’s Church in Craigie, for First Holy Communions.

Fr Bogdan addressed them:

Dear Children, Parents, godparents and all, who today are enjoying this solemn celebration of First Holy Communion, I have told you many times during our preparation together in catechesis to remember this celebration today for the rest of your lives. And I would even like that, years later, when you are already adults, maybe even when you bring your children to church, that you remember this great event that is taking place today. Because it is one of the greatest events of your entire lives.

And that is why all of us who are here today, including me, have tried to make this celebration really great.

We began this Mass today with such solemnity, because it is a special Mass. You might say, it is, after all, the same as any Mass on a Sunday, but it is probably a little different.

Why is it different? Because today for the first time we are to receive the Lord Jesus in Holy Communion.

That’s why this Mass is really different and you will receive for the first time the Lord Jesus as will all the adults and that’s why this is such a big event for you. You will already be able from today to eat this food that the Lord Jesus will give you.

His Holy Body hidden in this small white host of bread which we have eaten, having had a trial. Great indeed is the miracle and great also the mystery. 

Therefore, in this incomprehensible miracle, no matter who celebrates this Mass, whether it is the Pope even, whether it is a bishop, whether it is a priest, the Lord Jesus is always the same.

He is always present in this White Host and he says, take and eat, this is my body.

And just today especially, to you the Lord Jesus says, come and take my body and with my body live and with my body feed yourself.

So these words are certainly especially addressed to you today.

And we all know that we eat bread, don’t we? We eat bread for breakfast, we eat bread for lunch, we eat bread sometimes for dinner or even during the day. Why do we eat bread? What does bread give us? It gives us strength, it gives us that we can live; it gives us that we can enjoy life. And that’s the same thing this white bread gives us, that we take in only it gives us a different life. It gives us eternal life, meaning that one day we can be with the Lord Jesus together in heaven. We must devour it as often as possible, because then we can gain a life that is infinite in eternity.

And listen now to a fable that I will tell you.

The fable was that there was a young man, a little older than you, and he wanted to go on a journey to explore the world. And his mother says, well, go, but money I can’t give you, because I don’t have any. Whereas go with the bread I’m giving you and as long as you eat this bread, as long as you share it with others, this bread will not be lacking for you. And so the young man at that moment went out into the world. He ate this bread when he was hungry. He also shared this bread with others who were hungry. And amazing indeed, this bread never ran out for him. It was always the same as his mother had given him. 

And one day he came to a large city where a powerful king lived. He would give his most beautiful daughter, whom he has for wife, to one who was richer than he and who had more power than he. And so he erected a mighty set of scales in the middle of the city.

And on one side of this scale he placed all the jewels, all the wealth that he possessed, and said, I will give my daughter to the one who places more jewels on the other scale and outweighs all those of mine.

And everyone who wanted to marry his daughter tried. Different kings came from different parts of the world, they laid down their treasures, but no one could outweigh what the king had put down in this city. And that’s why His daughter was very sad, because she says, I don’t think I’m going to find a husband, I think I’m going to be lonely in my life evermore. One time she was walking along the river and at one point she saw some young boy sitting there eating his meal, eating his bread and he invited her in and shared with her with just this bread of his.

And it was very strange, because when she ate that bread, immediately the sadness disappeared. She became more joyful and after this meeting she returned back to her palace.

And the next day this young man came to the market place of that city where there was this great weighing scale built by the king with all his riches, with all his treasures. He saw, that there were other kings who also tried to weigh down these treasures, but all was in vain. No one could manage.

The king was the so powerful and his wealth was so great.

This young man, without knowing it beforehand, recognised beside the king this girl whom he had met yesterday, with whom he had shared his bread. And now he knew that this was the princess.

And so he went up to the king and spoke to the king like this:

“My lord, give me your daughter for a wife. And I will put on this scale all my wealth that I possess. All my bread that I possess.”

Everyone, of course, started laughing at him. And the king even got upset and says, well what is he looking for here, he says, with bread I want to outweigh my treasures. 

But the princess says, “yes daddy, let him. Let him put the bread on the scales.”

The king agreed. So the man went up, put his bread on the scales and boom! Everything changed. His bread went down, the king’s wealth went up and no one could understand what happened. But the king wanted to be true to his word and he gave his daughter as his wife. And from then on they were happily married, they had a beautiful party and wedding and no one in their kingdom ever lacked bread.

Why have I told you this tale?

Because it is something we have in common today. Namely, maybe your thoughts are already somewhere with the presents you are going to get today, with all the things your family has prepared for you, but you remember when we did almost the last exercise, And in this exercise you learned who was the most important person for you today. 

What is the biggest treasure today? The Lord Jesus! He is the greatest gift you are receiving today because he will come into your heart as this beautiful, most important treasure.

And maybe you will also find people in your life, who will be good, for sure, but there will be people who will perhaps ridicule you, who will wish you badly, but I want to tell you today, and remember this, to always trust in the Lord Jesus, just like this boy trusted his mother, who told him, remember, if you share this bread with others, you will never lack this bread.

And this is precisely our greatest treasure on earth. Because whoever has the Lord Jesus in his life, that one has the greatest treasure and that one has everything. Therefore remember, just like this princess who tasted this bread that the boy shared with her, she immediately became joyful. She was immediately a different person. And that’s why this is the truth that even she had a rich father, and she was sad. And when she ate the bread, she was already different. And that is why your most important gift today is him, the Lord Jesus, whom in a moment you will receive into your heart.

And what will be your second most important gift after the Lord Jesus? What do you think? Who’s sitting next to you? That’s right. The second most important gift is your parents. And they too, like you, will be receiving the Lord Jesus in Holy Communion.

And who is the third most important gift? Or important at all? Probably all the things you get from your family today, they too are nice, they too are pleasant for you, but they are certainly not the most important. 

Therefore, dear children, one last sentence I wish you that these next days, even these next months, even these next years, will be as joyful for you as this day is today.

And that God grants that one day we may all meet in this house, where the Lord Jesus lives. 

Already see Him with our eyes and enjoy Him, just as today. we receive Him in the form of a small white wafer.

And this is what I sincerely wish for you, this is what I wish, of course, for your parents, your godparents and all of us who are gathered. Amen.

Congratulations to the children who received their First Holy Communion, Chris Bieda, Maja Chytryk, Dominik Maj, Łucja Nowak, Zuzanna Przybyś, Laura Świderska, Adrianna Szafran, Amelia Szóstak, Patrick Zieja and Natalia Urbańska.

Our prayers are with them and their families always.

And now our prayers are also for Fr Bogdan –

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord,
and let Your perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed
rest in peace.