The Mass saw the participation of the whole community. For Fr Herman Yoseph Babey, parish priest in Denpasar, “the life of our children is no longer for themselves, but it is ready to be shared and lived in the service of others.”
Denpasar (AsiaNews) – Yesterday morning, 181 children received the sacrament of the First Communion on the occasion of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi in the Holy Spirit parish in Denpasar, Bali.
The children, who underwent a five-year catechetical preparation, come from 18 different basic ecclesial communities, and are on average ten years old. Fr Herman Yoseph Babey, parish priest in Denpasar celebrated the Mass, in which the whole community participate with great enthusiasm.
The children’s parents and relatives followed the ceremony with great emotion. "I'm here for my nephew's First Communion. It is the second Eucharistic celebration I attend to today. Even just being here for her during Mass is a joyous occasion for our family, " Andreas Wardana, a girl's uncle, told AsiaNews.
"After receiving the Body and the Blood of Christ, the life of our children is no longer for themselves, but it is ready to be shared and lived in the service of others. We hope that after receiving the Eucharist, these children will let themselves become involved in the Church's various activities and that their parents will encourage them to do so," said Father Babey in his homily.
"Now what transformation will happen in them?" asked the priest. “Whilst earthly food transforms our physical appearance, the First Communion for those who receive it is the beginning of participation in the life of the Church and the sign that one is ready to believe that Jesus is present in the Holy Eucharist."
The clergyman told the children to receive the Holy Communion frequently. Since they received the Body and Blood of Jesus, they are united in Christ and in one Church.
Father Babey finally expressed hope that the children would grow up as true Catholics and that Jesus be at the centre of their lives.
At the end of the celebration, Yohanes Paulus, father of two girls, spoke to AsiaNews. "I am happy that my two daughters have received communion today,” he said. “For our family, it is truly a blessing from God. I feel that God is truly present in our family and, today, especially in them. "
The joy of family members and of the entire community continued in the parish hall, where the pastoral council of the parish organised a small party in honour of the children.