By Purushottam Nayak
Raikia, Odisha: “Christ is the King of our heart,” say Odisha’s newly confessed youth.
“I am joyful that Christ the King of my heart is ready to dwell in the heart through Holy Communion,” said Lipika Pradhan, a tribal girl.
She is a grade 8 student at St. Catherine’s Girls’ High School, Raikia, run by the Daughters of Charity nuns.
About 500 faithful including children, youth, parents, priests and nuns marked the Christ the King feast at Our Lady of Charity Parish, Raikia in Kandhamal district, eastern India.
Father Pradosh Chandra Nayak, the parish priest officiated the Mass. Seven girls received Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion.
“We honour Jesus as the Universal King who loves unconditionally, forgives unceasingly, sacrifices without cost, speaks the truth without partiality, and lays down his life for his subjects,” said Nayak in his homily.
The feast invites all to possess the characteristics of King—peace, love and truth. “God’s thoughts become our thoughts and God leads us to eternal life,” added Nayak.
“Through the sacrament of reconciliation and by confessing sins to a Catholic priest, the children have the assurance of Jesus’ own words that they shall be forgiven of their sins,” said Jayanti Singh, a member of Daughters of Charity and the superintendent of St. Catherine’s Convent.
The first communion is an important step for Catholic Children because they receive the body and blood of Jesus for the first time.
By continuing to receive Holy Communion for the rest of their lives, Catholics become one with Christ and believe they will share in His eternal life, continued Singh.
Parishioners contributed to the Mission Sunday for the Universal Church. It was a moment of grace to express solidarity with the brothers and sisters in Christ who are living in situations of poverty, violence, and oppression.
Christ the King feast was also celebrated in different parts of Odisha, India amid COVID-19 restriction.