Last Sunday I had the pleasure of attending the First Communion in our parish. The ceremony was beautiful, because of the strong commitment of children, parents and those who have prepared them. There were beautiful songs performed by children and their siblings and beautiful decorations, introducing a festive atmosphere. Above all, however, you could see in the eyes of these children the kind of joy that rarely accompanies adults. It was hard not to remind myself of my own First Communion, which was a truly mystical experience for me, a moment of truly live faith, of accepting Jesus into my heart and from that moment having Him as my best friend.
I think that in the long run, I could not work with children, because they would just finish me off. But from time to time, I enjoy the moments of looking at their growing faith. Yesterday I had the pleasure of talking to them about Kenya and the dreams of local children there. I was amazed how wisely they answered my questions and how they prayed for their peers with genuine concern. Each time I begin to understand more and more the words of Jesus, who repeatedly tells us that “unless we change and become like little children we will never enter the kingdom of Heaven” (Mathew 18,3). And it’s not about being naive again, but about returning to the simplicity of heart and purity of intention.
Next week I will participate in the sacrament of Confirmation. Several of my students will receive it and I know them a little – I know they are much further from God than the 9-year-old children. I am not surprised by this, because I remember myself in that time, and with me it was no different. I think that sometimes it takes us too long to make a full circle in life and we must repeatedly go very far away to finaly reach the ideal of loving with the honesty of a child. Let us get there as soon as possible.