Receiving Holy Communion

There is a difference between Receiving the Body and Blood of the Lord and Receiving Holy Communion.

Receiving the Body and Blood of the Lord: During the meal Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it , and gave it to his disciple, He said: ‘Take this and eat it, this is my body’. Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them,. He said: ‘All of you must drink from it for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant to be poured out in behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.’ Matthew 26:26-28 Is not the cup of blessing we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread we break a sharing in the body of Christ? 1 Corinthians 10:16 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: “Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the sub-stance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation.” (1376) The word “transubstantiation” describes the change that takes place in the bread and wine at the words of institution. We do not believe that the bread and wine just change figuratively, analogously, or in significance (in the consideration of another). We believe that the substance of bread and wine changes into the substance of Jesus’ whole self: body and blood, soul and divinity. The Eucharist is actually Jesus and when we receive it, we actually receive him.

Receiving Holy Communion: Here I stand knocking at the door. If anyone hears me calling and opens the door, I will enter his house and have supper with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20 The whole point of Jesus offering himself to us in the sacrament of his Body and Blood is to place himself truly, personally, and substantially at the door of our hearts. This invites a response. He is standing at the door. We can either leave him there or invite him in. The choice we make determines whether or not we receive Holy Communion. Receiving Holy Communion takes place after we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus and return to our pew. Holy Communion takes place when we kneel down and pay attention to the reality of Jesus’ presence standing at the door of our heart. Holy Communion takes place when we open the door of our heart and invite Jesus to come inside:

Jesus, I have received your Body and Blood. At this moment you are standing at the door of my heart asking to enter into my life. I open the door of my heart to you. Enter within me. Shed your light on everything inside of me. Help me to see what I need to see about myself and to make choices about the things that need to change. I give my life to you. Use my talents, my eyes and my ears, may hands and my strength to bring joy, hope, love and healing to the lives of others and to the world. I choose to live in you and want you to live in me that our unity may be complete. THIS IS HOLY COMMUNION!

He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. John 6:56 I have given them the glory you gave me that they may be one as we are one — I living in them, you living in me — that their unity may be complete. So shall the world know that you sent me, and that You love them as You loved me. John 17:22-23