Apr 12

thumb communion kneelingWhat I am going to write to you about is something that happened this weekend that made me very sad.

After distributing Holy Communion at one of the weekend Masses, I noticed a piece of host on the floor a few feet away to the left from where I was distributing Communion. I was able to pick it up right after the last person in line inadvertently stepped on the host. The piece of host was about one- fourth the size of a small host, but large enough to be perfectly visible from a distance.

I am sure no one dropped it or stepped on it intentionally, but I wondered how long that host had been on the floor, and how many people had stepped on it. Someone told me that it was there before distributing Holy Communion at this Mass, so it was probably dropped the day before.

Some of you may be thinking: “Big deal. It is just a piece of a small host that someone accidentally dropped. Just pick it up and don’t make such a fuss about it.” It IS a big deal, my dear brothers and sisters. It wasn’t a piece of bread or wafer that was on the floor. It was the Body of Christ. Jesus Christ is present in every visible particle of the consecrated host. Christ was really and truly present in that piece of Host: Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. The same Christ who was born in a manger, who walked through the land of Palestine, who was scourged and died on a cross for you and for me, who resurrected and sits at the right hand of the Father, that is the same Christ who people were inadvertently stepping on as they walked to their pews.

So the question I ask you today is this, “Can we do something to be more careful and reverent with Our Lord when we receive Him in Holy Communion?” Yes we can. We should first make sure that we receive Him properly disposed; with a clean heart and soul, free from any mortal or serious sin. Yes, I am talking about confession, if we need to be absolved from any mortal sins we may have committed since our last good confession. Secondly, we can receive Him in the safest way possible to avoid any accidental profanation: receiving Holy Communion on the tongue.

Have you ever wondered why Fr. George or I take such care purifying the vessels after distributing Holy Communion? Or why I rinse my fingers in a small bowl of water next to the tabernacle after helping with Communion when Fr. George is saying Mass? Or why our altar boys use patens while I distribute Communion? Or why our sacristans rinse the sacred linens in water and later throw that water in the sacrarium, before washing them? To make sure that every visible particle of consecrated host is properly disposed by either consuming it or dissolving it in water. We priest purify our fingers in holy water after handling the Eucharist. Unfortunately, people don’t. It would be much more reverent and careful if you would receive it on the tongue! I ask you -BEG you- to consider it. Don’t do it just for me; do it for Jesus.

God bless you, Fr. Miguel

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