The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (part IV of V)

07-12-2015Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Part of our problem - at least in the United States - is that many have lost the sense of connection between Holy Communion and the rest of their life. Here are some things that can exclude a person from Communion. For example, a couple living together in a union that is not recognized by the Church should not come forward to receive Holy Communion. If you have missed Sunday Mass without a sufficient reason, you should not receive Communion until you have gone to confession. The 1983 Code of Canon Law says this: "A person who is conscious of a grave sin is not to . . . receive the Body of the Lord without prior sacramental confession unless a grave reason is present and there is no opportunity of confessing; in this case the person is to be mindful of the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, including the intention of confessing as soon as possible" (CIC 916).

Also, to receive Holy Communion, you must believe that the bread and wine are actually transformed into the actual Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ, with only the appearances of bread and wine remaining. This is why, at the Last Supper, Jesus held what appeared to be bread and wine, yet said: "This is my body. . . . This is my blood" (Mark 14:22-24, cf. Luke 22:14-20). If Christ were merely present along side bread and wine, he would have said "This contains my body. . . . This contains my blood," or “This is a representation of my body… This is a symbol of my blood” which He did not say.

Also, to receive Holy Communion, you must observe the Eucharistic fast. What does that mean? It means that you must abstain from any food or drink, with the exception only of water and medicine, for at least the period of one hour before Holy Communion" (CIC 919 §1). Elderly people, those who are ill, and their caretakers are excused from the Eucharistic fast (CIC 191 §3). Priests and deacons may not dispense one obligated by the Eucharistic fast unless the bishop has expressly granted such power to them (cf. CIC 89).

To be continued next week…

God Bless,
Fr. Don Kline