Bishop to first communicants: Throw tantrum at home if….

Children of the Diocese of Peoria, your bishop has granted permission for you to throw a tantrum at home.

But only on one very important subject.

“Since you don’t drive yet, if Mom and Dad don’t bring you to Mass every Sunday, throw a tantrum,” said Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, in a homily at a Mass attended by children from throughout the diocese who this spring made their First Communion.

The applause that erupted from the adults also attending the annual Mass for First Communicants at St. Mary’s Cathedral June 11 indicated they were fine with the bishop’s advice.

“Moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, you have a real obligation to be there for these children to make sure they receive that food from heaven,” said Bishop Jenky. He told the adults in the assembly that just as Catholic parents show love by making sure their children are fed, go to school, and are “hosed down on a regular basis,” they must also make sure their children receive “the food of everlasting life.”

Speaking to the first communicants — who used the occasion to again don their special dresses and suits — Bishop Jenky reminded them of God’s great love. While their parents and grandparents offer plentiful hugs and kisses, God shows his love in a special way through the Eucharist.

“We can actually touch God,” said the bishop. “He touches us. We can come to him when we’re doing great and we’re happy, and we can come to him when we don’t know what to do and we’re sad and hurting. And he embraces us with his love.”

The bishop told the children they will need holy Communion throughout their lives, even “when you’re my age.”

And he urged their parents, and all adults, to be renewed by the faith of the first communicants and “the beauty of their relationship to the Lord.”

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