This Sunday we continue to celebrate our school children receiving their First Holy Communion. As Father Alo said last week that this was a great celebration, not merely for our children and their families, but for the parish community.
Receiving the sacrament of communion, as you would know, has multi-dimensional meaning. Firstly, receiving communion is entering into communion with the person of Jesus, the risen and living Christ, in the symbols of bread and wine. Through this communion with Jesus we are open to the communion with God, the Father, in the love of the Spirit poured out in our hearts.
But the mystery of this sacrament does not merely limit there. Once the person is in communion with God, he or she will be able to find their true self. In other words, they are in communion with their own person, understanding and loving one’s self as it is. Knowing how to love one’s self is the very base to know how to love others, to be in communion with others, as Jesus points out in this weekend Gospel.
If we truly know how to love, especially how to love ourselves, we would probably discover that loving is not about indulging, pleasing or overprotecting. Like when one is loving one’s self, it does not mean self-indulgence, narcissism or oversensitivity about one’s self. These thing would inevitably lead to self-destruction.
Loving someone or something is to be able to see the truth in them and accepting it. Loving myself is to be able to see my true self and accept it as it is. As C.S. Lewis said that we don’t always love ourselves because of mere beautiful and nice things about us; we love ourselves because it is who we are, our very selves. God loves us not because we are perfect or good enough. God loves us because who we are, God’s beloved image.
In turn, we love one another not because they are always nice to us (maybe at times but impossibly always!). We love our neighbour because who they are. We need to learn their true persons in order to love them truly. We need to see them as our fellow human beings who are also loved so much by God, in order to love them.
The commands of Jesus to love God, self and others in the Gospel this weekend are compactly expressed in the sacrament of communion that we receive so often but not often realising its fullness and beauty. The question is how we, as parents, grandparents, adults, role models in families, can help and guide our children who will start experiencing and exploring this sacrament to fall into the depth of this mystery of love and communion?
Fr Khoi msc
Ps. I will be on holidays from the 5th of November to the 5th of December. Will see you when I get back!
Our children’s Christmas Mass is traditionally held at 6pm on Christmas Eve. This year we will be having our Christmas Play and Christmas Carols performed by the children of our Parish. If your child would like to participate, please add their name to the Christmas poster at the entrance to the Church. Rehearsals for Christmas Carols will take place during Kids Church in December, and there will be a single rehearsal for the Christmas Play on the weekend of 22/23 December after Mass. We encourage all children to be involved. If you have any questions, please contact Jane on 0477 017 726 or the Parish office.
We are delighted to announce that the Safeguarding Office has now released online training for its Induction program. Moving forward, all Parish volunteers will be asked to complete the two online training modules. This includes volunteers who don’t work directly with children, such as readers, Eucharistic ministers etc. The online training can be done in your own time and at home, uni or work and each module takes around 20 mins. Over the coming month we will be contacting all our volunteers via email with full instructions and how to access help if it is needed. For those parishioners who prefer to attend training in person, or who are without computer/internet access, there will be an onsite training session held at the Parish during January/February. Registration forms for the in-person training will be available shortly.
If you are a volunteer within our Parish, we sincerely appreciate the time and effort you contribute to our community. Unfortunately, we don’t always have your most up to date contact details, particularly email. If you are on a roster or volunteer regularly, can you please ensure Maria has your current phone number AND an email address if you have one. Thank you for your support.
This weekend is a great opportunity for you to help out your parish in a meaningful way by supporting one of its charitable appeals. The Charitable Works Fund (CWF) is the premier charity of the Sydney Archdiocese, covering social and pastoral services, education and training, and advocacy services to all sections of your community – regardless of race, religion or social status. Your gift will help someone in your community who could use a helping hand or be given better opportunities, so please give generously. Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible, thank you.