So there we have it!!
This section is SO IMPORTANT FOR US
The Church has said that the Eucharist is the SOURCE and the SUMMIT
THIS IS THE HIGH POINT!!
This is from which ALL GRACES for the Christian life flow
FROM THE EUCHARIST!!
And they lead us BACK to the Eucharist
HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS!!
Because of this and because Jesus wants us to receive Him…
What did Jesus say?
Jesus says, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you have no life in you.”
Jesus says, “Take this all of you and eat of it. Take this all of you and drink.”
We have to prepare ourselves
We can’t just saunter up in the Communion line
Because this is TRULY GOD
Jesus Christ is TRULY REALLY AND SUBSTANTIALLY PRESENT IN THE EUCHARIST
THIS IS HIS BODY BLOOD SOUL AND DIVINITY!!
Therefore, we cannot be cavalier about approaching our Lord
So how do we prepare ourselves for so holy and for so great a moment?
Paragraph 1385 says, “To respond to this invitation we must prepare ourselves for so great and so holy a moment. St. Paul urges us to examine our conscience: ‘Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.”
What St. Paul is saying is, essentially, that you will have the Blood of Christ on your hands
YOU WILL BE GUILTY OF HIS MURDER!!
If you walk up to a statue and knock it down, you are guilty of vandalism
The image that St. Paul is using here is the image of being guilty of the murder of our Lord
There is some kind of grievous think that happens
St. Paul was warning people from the very beginning
When it comes to the Eucharistic assembly and Holy Communion we have to make sure that WE ARE NOT CONSCIOUS OF GRAVE SIN
If there is a serious sin on our souls, then WE MUST ABSTAIN FROM THE EUCHARIST and avoid the Eucharist until we’ve gone to Confession first
This happens when people come back to Confession after so long of a time
Fr. Mike will ask, “Since some of the bigger deal sins (grave sins), have you ever received Communion without going to Confession first?”
So many people don’t know THAT IN ITSELF IS A GRAVE SIN
So if we miss Mass on Sunday intentionally we have to go to Confession before we can receive Communion again
If we are guilty of any mortal sin, we have to go to Confession before we can receive Holy Communion
IT IS SO IMPORTANT!!
It is a matter of our SOULS
It is a matter of LIFE AND DEATH
It is a matter of ETERNITY
If we are not living a life that is in conformity to the Gospel…
If we are living a life where we have clearly stepped out, not just in private life, but in public life as well
Sometimes there are public people who live their lives in a public way contrary to the Faith
Sometimes bishops or priests will have to say, “If you are going to keep living this way, you cannot approach Holy Communion.”
And people will say, “You are judging that person.”
Here’s the thing…
We can NEVER judge a person’s heart
We are PROHIBITED from that
If there is someone who is in public sin and is persistently gravely sinning, then it is actually the job of the Bishop or pastor to point this out
It’s not their job or role to go online and say this
It is their job and their role to approach that person and say, “Ok, I see what’s happening. Your life right now, you’re in an irregular marriage. Ok, you’re Catholic, but you’re married outside the Church. Well, until you get that marriage convalidated, blessed inside of the Church, you should not receive Holy Communion.”
If someone is divorced and remarried without a declaration of nullity, they are living in a state outside of full communion with the Church
They need to get that situation fixed before they can receive Holy Communion
This is not meant to pick on anybody at all
These are just the more common examples that we see and people DON’T EVEN KNOW ABOUT IT
How many people don’t even know that it’s a grave sin to commit grave sin and receive Holy Communion
Voltaire was not a friend of Christians and hated the Catholic Church
Let’s listen to Fr. Mike’s story about Voltaire and the young man who feels guilty for his mortal sins…
Voltaire said, “Commit a bunch of mortal sins, and then keep receiving Holy Communion, and that will cure you of this pinprick of conscience that tells you that you’ve done something wrong.”
The young man ends up doing that until his conscience was numb and destroyed
That’s what can happen to us
This isn’t just about marriage but ANY GRAVE SIN
If we are conscious of ANY GRAVE SIN then we MUST NOT PRESENT OURSELVES TO RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION
At the same time, we must not judge someone else’s state of their soul
It’s all about where am I at?
What am I called to do?
Where am I called to repent of my sins and go to Confession?
Paragraph 1386 says, “Before so great a sacrament, the faithful can only echo humbly and with ardent faith the words of the Centurion…”
LORD, I AM NOT WORTHY THAT YOU SHOULD ENTER UNDER MY ROOF, BUT ONLY SAY THE WORDS AND MY SOUL SHALL BE HEALED
WHICH IS SO TRUE!!
WE ARE NOT WORTHY!!
WE ARE NOT WORTHY AT ALL!!
We have to do WHATEVER WE CAN to prepare ourselves to be worthy
One thing is there is a FAST required by the Church
The Latin Church says we do not eat or drink anything except for water, or medicine, ONE HOUR BEFORE RECEIVING HOLY COMMUNION
Also, and this is not a requirement, but our bodily demeanor in Church
How we act and how we dress should convey the respect, solemnity, and joy of this moment when Christ becomes our guest
Fr. Mike is telling a story about some students so let’s listen…
Some of them wear ties to daily Mass and some girls dress nice too
It’s a reminder of the how solemn, respectful, and joyful the moment in Mass is
IT’S REALLY REALLY INCREDIBLE!!
Why is one of the encouragements from the Church be that when you go to Mass you should receive Holy Communion?
One is because there was a time in the Church when people were SO IN AWE of our Lord’s presence in the Eucharist
They were very aware of their unworthiness so they didn’t receive Holy Communion not even once a week, once a month, or even once a year
They thought how could they possibly approach Jesus in the Eucharist
So the Church had to say that not only were they ENCOURAGED to receive Holy Communion, warmly recommended, but that they are OBLIGED to receive Holy Communion AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR prepared by the Sacrament of Reconciliation
GO TO CONFESSION!!
You are OBLIGED to receive Holy Communion at least once a year during the Easter Season
Receive Holy Communion MORE REGULARLY THAN THAT
Maybe even daily
The Eucharist is the same mystery that has two dynamic elements to it
The Eucharist is a sacrifice
The Eucharist is a sacrificial meal like a banquet
This is a fellowship meal
Maybe someone heard that the Eucharist is a sacrificial meal and they finally discover it is also a banquet
That captivates their hearts
So there was one time in Church when people were so conscious of their sins and so aware of the holiness of the Eucharist that it kept them away from the Eucharist
There were other times in the Church where people seem to be unconscious of their own sin and so unconscious of the Lord’s holiness that they approached the Eucharist as if it were not a big deal
So what’s the middle road?
WE MUST RECOGNIZE OUR OWN SINFULNESS!!
WE MUST RECOGNIZE THE LORD’S TRUTH AND BEAUTY AND GOODNESS IN THE EUCHARIST!!
WE MUST RECOGNIZE THAT THE LORD STILL INVITES US TO COME TO HIM!!
We need to be prepared by holy Reconciliation
God wants us to draw near
God does not want us to stay far away
God wants to first forgive us and reconcile us to Him and to His Church
Then we can confidently, humbly, and boldly approach Jesus in Holy Communion
If you have been receiving Holy Communion and have not confessed grave sins that you may have or have not gone to Confession in a long time, go to Confession before you receive Holy Communion the next time
You are INVITED to do that
The Lord WANTS to reconcile you
The Lord WANTS to forgive you
The Lord DESIRES that you actually have communion
When we have a grave sin and we receive Holy Communion, it is not Communion
It is anti-Communion
We are eating and drinking condemnation upon ourselves
The Lord wants to set you free
Go to that sacrament of healing in Confession
Then approach our Lord’s banquet
Approach our Lord’s table
Approach our Lord’s altar with all the confidence in His love, in His goodness, in His beauty, and the fact that HE WANTS YOU TO COME CLOSE
THIS IS CHALLENGING!!
There is a lot of brokenness in all of our hearts and lives
So we need God’s Grace
We need God’s healing
We need His true presence in the Eucharist to come to us in Communion
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow