How important is God to you?
Let us start with a self-test…
You’re holding your newborn baby. How precious and cute and completely dependent on you!
1. Would you let EVERY SINGLE member of your family take your baby home with them?
2. Would you let EVERY SINGLE one of your neighbors take your baby to their home?
3. Would you let ALL of your friends take your baby to their home with them?
4. Would you let YOUR BOSS AND ALL COWORKERS take your baby home with them?
5. Would you let ANY PERFECT STRANGER take your baby home?
Oh yeah, one more thing, you wouldn’t have any contact to know how things were going–just your absolute trust in that individual.
Obviously the answer is no, we would be crazy to do so, but that is exactly what we, as a Catholic community, allow to happen over and over again in our churches.
Before I go any further, a little disclaimer, this article is NOT about anyone in particular but instead it’s of a problem that has existed in our Church, the ‘one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church,’ for centuries. But just because it is an ongoing problem it does not mean that we don’t try to do something about it. Again, on purpose I repeat, “This is in no way, shape, or form in reference to anyone in particular.” But this is a problem and it also happens plenty of times right here in our parish.
I am referring to the Blessed Sacrament, both when being distributed during communion as well as when being brought to the homebound.
If we answered no to the above questions, referring to letting a defenseless newborn baby in the hands of just anyone, why do we do it when it comes to the Most Sacred Body of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament? We are speaking of Christ, our LORD, GOD, AND CREATOR! It is our DUTY, all of us, at all times, by order of our baptisms, to completely PROTECT HIM!
When we come to receive communion, we should only receive one consecrated host and immediately consume Him–right then and there–not even taking Jesus in our hands back to our seat/pew to consume Him while on our knees in prayer.
I will speak further about this at our Masses, but in the meantime, I leave you with some important points for all of us to reflect on and to know that, policy-wise, they are not created by me but are just being reinforced once again in our parish:
• Communion must be consumed immediately upon receiving Jesus. If you see someone that has not consumed, it is your DUTY as a baptized follower of Christ to ask them to consume or give Him to you, and please bring the Consecrated Host immediately to a priest or Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist.
• If you have a loved one or a friend who is homebound, and you know that they would want to receive communion, please let us know. We’ll make arrangements to get to them, but understand that all of our Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist are volunteers and most have jobs, too; therefore, we may need to ask that person to be flexible with their visitation times.
• If you have been taking communion to a family member or friend but you are not an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, please consider becoming one. But know that becoming one is a privilege, and we serve the entire community and not just one single individual.
• Taking communion to someone does not consist of getting there and handing the Blessed Sacrament over to the other person; instead it carries an entire ritual which includes a specific carrying case (pyx), methods of transporting the Blessed Sacrament, prayers, and meditations. This is why it must be done by someone who has been prepared. You wouldn’t place a baby in the trunk of the car, nor would you lay him or her on the back seat allowing that baby to just roll around.
• All Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist must be registered parishioners of OLP and delegated by the Cardinal or the Pastor of that particular parish.
• We will no longer be giving the Blessed Sacrament to anyone who is not registered with us, and that includes those who are delegated Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist at other parishes. All delegations are designated for one particular parish and that parish alone.
• If you are an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist delegated to our parish and wish to take the Eucharist to someone, you must bring your pyx to the sacristy BEFORE Mass starts or see a priest right after the Mass. The Blessed Sacrament will not be placed in a pyx at the communion line.
• For all homebound visits outside Mass times, we ask all Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist to please come to the rectory or see a priest.
As I close this article please reflect on ,,,
What a gift it is that Christ chose to stay here with us! Not only did He become incarnated and suffered an unjust death for us, He chose to stay close to us each and every day of our lives. It is He who we come to pray to when we come to Mass each and every single day–He, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit. If we hold dear to so many material objects that we can’t take with us to the afterlife, why will we not do the same with the Blessed Sacrament? Why will we not do so much more to protect and keep He who has done so much for us, who gave Himself for us, who will be there with us and for us for eternity?