February 28, 2015
Since I preached at only two Masses this past weekend, not everyone got to hear the words I shared about careful reception of Holy Communion, I want to print the ideas here so that as many of our parishioners can hear the same thing in black and white of print. I mentioned, as has been brought to my attention by both deacons and folks in the pew alike, as well as I’ve seen at Masses myself, that there have been several instances of people receiving Communion and carrying Jesus back in their hands to the pews, or not reverently receiving Him right away.
In addition, I know some people tend to “pick” at Holy Communion, holding out their fingers to take the Sacred Host instead of having both hands extended to receive Jesus. While I mean not to single out anyone, I do feel the obligation as pastor to make everyone aware of how to properly receive Communion.
“Why the fuss?”, you may ask. My answer is that because of WHO, not what, Holy Communion is, we owe Jesus the highest possible respect in taking His Body and Blood. That’s why we fast for an hour beforehand from food and drink, as to draw the distinction between regular food and Christ as our spiritual food.
That’s why we make sure, very sure, we have examined our consciences well, and are not aware of any mortal sins on our soul that would make receiving Holy Communion sacrilegious. If as the Church believes, we truly believe Holy Communion is not merely a symbol, but the true Body and Blood of Christ, then yes, we owe the Lord our best preparation and most reverent reception possible. He is our Bread of Life, and His Body in the Sacrament is the highest holy thing on this earth, now or in any time and place!
At Communion time, if you are aware you are not properly disposed or not in the state of grace to receive Jesus, then either stay in the pew, which is fine, or come up with arms crossed for a blessing, which is also fine. If you are prepared to receive Jesus, then by all means, you should receive, either on the hands or the tongue. But when anyone receives the Lord, they s hould immediately take the Host and consume without
If a person is not Catholic, they too, while very much welcomed among us, may choose simply to receive a blessing from the priest or deacon. This is fine,and very reverent as well. I hope this teaching clarifies matters well for you all.
God bless and keep you!