November 17, 2013 A View from the Rectory Window

This past Sunday, the Church commissioned thirty-five new Eucharistic Ministers from our parish family. Part of the Instruction associated with this commissioning charged these women and men in the following manner:

In this ministry, you must be examples of Christian living in faith and conduct; you must strive to grow in holiness through this sacrament of unity and love. Remember that, though many, we are one body because we share the one bread and one cup. As Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion be, therefore, especially observant of the Lord’s command to love your neighbor. For when he said to them: “This is my commandment, that you should love one another as I have loved you.”

We thank them for accepting this profound responsibility of communicating the Body of Christ to those of us who gather at each Mass, to those who are in nursing homes and hospitals and to those who are homebound.

In a particular way, in their ministry we are all reminded of the link between who we are as a community who gather together on the Lord’s Day and our communion with those who cannot be with us.

But as the above Instruction notes, we are also ALL prompted to recognize that those who receive the Body of Christ are called to be living examples of the Body of Christ, whom they have received. Saint Augustine challenged us all:

The bread is Christ’s body; the cup is Christ’s blood. If you, therefore, are Christ’s body and members, it is your own mystery that is placed on the Lord’s table! It is your own mystery that you are receiving! Be a member of Christ’s body, then, so that your Amen may ring true! Be what you see; receive what you are. All who fail to keep the bond of peace after entering this mystery receive not a sacrament that benefits them, but an indictment that condemns them.

In this admonition we are all put on notice that the Body of Christ is one that we are the Body of Christ, and if we do not keep this bond of communion we are condemned. The next time you approach Our Lord in Holy Communion, I encourage you to first consider how well you preserve the communion between yourself and those in your life.

Father Pete