From the Desk of the D.R.E.: 2nd Sunday of Lent
From the desk of our DRE,
I suffered miscarriages of my first and third children—Clare and John. Shortly after losing John, we called my friend Bret. The call was barely over when there was a knock at the door—it was Bret. He said, “I’m so sorry,” sat down at the table and cried with us. Years later, Bret’s wife Lori (another friend) needed emergency surgery. I sat in the waiting room, listened to Bret’s fears, prayed and made sure he ate. When the surgeon came out, he said, “This news is only for family.” Bret clasped me in a side-hug and said, “This is our sister.”
Intimacy is “into-me-see.” It’s vulnerable sharing and being-with. Jesus Christ is God the Son, Who took on a human body and soul and loves with a human heart. He deeply desires intimacy with you. At the Last Supper, Jesus gave us the best parting gift ever: Himself. Holy Communion IS Jesus Christ: Risen, complete and whole, hidden behind appearances of bread and wine (CCC 1374). He comes inside of you—literally heart to heart. “...the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, ‘This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 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. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” 1 Cor 11:23-30
The 3rd Precept of the Church is Receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist at least once a year during the Easter Season. Holy Communion received worthily forgives venial sins and helps us grow in holiness. The steps to a worthy Communion are 1) know Whom you receive, 2) be in a state of grace (confess your mortal sins to a priest and be absolved), 3) fast – nothing by mouth except water and medicine for one hour, 4) receive reverently and 5) thank God. Examine yourself before Mass (CCC 1385). If you are not prepared, come to Mass but don’t receive Communion. It is a very serious mortal sin (a sacrilege) to receive Communion unworthily. Preparing well for Communion respects the intimate friendship that Jesus is offering us. This relationship began with the gift of grace and adoption at baptism. Jesus’ friendship truly makes us family.
Being united as family with Jesus doesn’t just give us access to surgery results. Clasped to the side of Jesus, our Father gives us access to Heaven. “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” Jn 6:54 Receiving Holy Communion worthily allows us to start living Heaven now!