Wednesday, December 17, 2014

First Communion in a house church

By María José Ruiz Jaramillo and Rev. Olga Lucia Alvarez Benjumea (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Evangelizadoras de los Apóstoles Blog
December 14, 2014

"My name is Maria José. I'm 11 years old and I want to share with you the experience of this beautiful day. A month ago, my grandmother, Maria Elena Sierra, died. Her wish was for me to make my First Communion before the end of December so we've fulfilled it. My grandfather, Gerardo Jaramillo Gonzales, a married Catholic priest, was the one who baptized me. Because of falling in love with my grandmother, he was sidelined from his ministry in the Church -- suffering and grief that we have always borne in the family.

On this day of my First Communion, I am accompanied by my family -- my grandfather, my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, my little sister Maria Antonia, and two friends of my grandmother and the family.

In my family, we asked Olga Lucia to be the one to accompany us in a special way this day.

Olga Lucia left us brief thoughts on which to reflect: "Who are we? And what is our mission, our responsibility, in the world, in our families, in society, in the Church?"

"My grandfather spoke up to explain to us the importance of the commitment we are making when receiving the Eucharist: "...When we say 'This is My Body', 'This is My Blood', we are each one of us surrendering ourselves to the service of the Church, to the service of the Kingdom of God...making the presence of Christ real in the bread and the wine."

My grandfather, a married priest, and my mom give me Holy Communion. Olga Lucia explains why they are giving me Communion: "because Father Gerardo as a grandfather and priest, and Maria Elena, as a mom, have been the ones in the home who have nurtured the seeds of faith and Christian values in Maria José."

Then the rest of the attenders came to receive Communion. Olga Lucia was the last one to take Communion and we ended by giving thanks to God for his presence among us and we also invoked the presence of the Virgin Mary, Patroness of the Americas, the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Full of the presence of the Spirit-Ruah, we were invited to go out into the world with joy to proclaim the Gospel!"

We consider Fr. Gerardo's speech a blessing from Heaven despite his health and memory loss. It was like listening to him in his better days.

NOTE: Additional photos of the occasion are available by clicking on the link to "Evangelizadoras de los Apostoles Blog" at the top of the article.

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