The Gospels and Reception of Holy Communion

I’m going to take a little break from my posts on the origin of the Novus Ordo and instead address a common argument used by advocates of Holy Communion in the hand. The argument goes like this: “I’m an adult who is able to feed myself, and it’s just plain childish for a priest to FEED me Communion”.

My friend, it is true, you are an adult, and it’s very likely that you can feed yourself. But what is the constant message of Christ that we find in the Gospels? It’s one of humility, of lowering ourselves from an exalted status so that, by lowering ourselves, Jesus Himself can exalt us in the life to come. Whether you’re reading the Sermon on the Mount with its beatitudes, or any number of similar exhortations, the theme is obvious: treat yourself as lowly and good things will happen to you. “You will receive,” our Lord says, “a hundredfold in this life and in the life to come” (Mark 10:30).

But going back to the argument about a person being able to feed himself, Matthew 18 is particularly interesting. Jesus, asked who is greatest in the kingdom of Heaven, calls to Himself a small child and declares that one to be the greatest, but goes further still: “Amen, Amen I say to you, unless you become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of God” (Matt. 18:3).

Holy Communion received on the tongue might very well be a childish thing, but this is far from bad. It’s simply following the Lord’s commandment, and is precisely in the spirit of His teachings.

 

His blessings to you,

Michael

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