Monday, April 26, 2010

Leaping for Joy

Last week, the last of my daughters made her First Holy Communion. She was confirmed first, and she along with about 90 other youth might as well have been leaping for joy. With all due respect to our Heavenly Father in His house of worship, the children were beautifully behaved, reverent, and respectful. But it was clear in their smiles that they were bursting with the Holy Spirit. They almost could not contain their joy, and I am sure all of heaven was laughing in delight at the completion of their sacramental initiation, and their union with Christ.

'Tis the season to be jolly. No, not with Santa Claus... Instead, it's the Easter Season, a time when we celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord and liturgies of first sacraments abound! Joy was everywhere that night. After the final blessing and the closing song, little girls and boys were bustling everywhere around the altar, taking pictures, hugging loved ones, and rejoicing. Our Dean returned to the altar area, making himself available for candid photos and good will conversations. As my daughter joined her girlfriends for many pictures, I was filled with happiness when even our sometimes-more-reserved-than-not-pastor jumped into a photo with a big smile, and without even being asked! His own joy was also so prevalent that one could only respond with a hearty "thank you!"

All I could think about was the scripture passage when Jesus rebukes his protective disciples, instructing them to "let the little ones come to Me..."
Jesus knew the value of a child's desires, their trust, joy and innocence. So it was no surprise when He further instructed us that we cannot enter heaven unless we become like a little child.

If only we could all remain as we were on the day of our First Holy Communion and Confirmation, so filled with trust in the Lord, and joy in His presence! The intensity of these children's happiness was not contrived that night. They spent two full hours in that long liturgical celebration, exempt from any worldly stimulants, sugar or soda. Yet their energy abounded through a filter of perfect purity...and for me, it closely mirrored what Christ, Himself must be like in His most humorous and joyful state.

My evening was topped off when my little daughter, now sponsored by two more guardian intercessors in heaven, Sts. Bernadette and Therese said to me, "Mom, I felt so different after I received Jesus... I even felt different right after Confirmation..." Her smile was so wide and her eyes glowed so brightly that I could actually see the difference.

After witnessing and experiencing this happiness observantly and vicariously through my own child and the many other children that night, I ponder again how our world can continue to deny the very presence and existence of God. There was a fullness and completion present that night, the very kind that every human being longs for...

It was right there. Fullness.... and completion....

May others come to know the Truth and may God's plan for salvation continue to forge ahead in these trying times. And may we give thanks to God for these moments when our Hope is strengthened and renewed.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!!!! Such a joy to read this post!!!!