First Communion Homily

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Yesterday, in his effort to equate symbol and reality, our Priest contributed to a misunderstanding of the Eucharist that I used to have in the before times. He asked the children what the bread became, and he received the answer, "The Body of Christ" He then asked the children what the wine became. He received no answer because the Catechist who gave them these lessons never separated the two. She said that the bread and the wine become the body and blood of Jesus. She said that when you took the bread you took the body and blood of Jesus and that when you took the wine, you were reminded of the tremendous cost of this body and blood. Thus, she tried to make sense of the two species, but not to separate them in kind. The Priest, seeking to simplify, infinitely complicated matters for those of us who homeschool our children in religious education.

It is also one of the reasons that I am not very keen on reception under both species. In some cases the Catechises of adults is so poor that the misconception has remained that one MUST partake of both in order to receive both. This is not a reason for discontinuing the usage of both species, but it is a very strong reason for additional Catechesis in any parish where this will be the ongoing habit. Adults and children alike need to understand what the meaning of the species is and that reception of either one is still reception of the totality of the what the Lord offers us in the banquet of the Eucharist.

I'm not faulting the Priest who gave a very fine homily--merely pointing out the dangers of simplification. There reaches a point at which simplification is the delivery of incorrect information.

(In another realm--I have tried countless times to make clear that it is improper to convert from pounds to kilograms: one is a measure of force, the other a measure of mass. While it can be done at Earth's surface because the mass will be subject to the constant acceleration of gravity, that same 2 kg mass will have little or no-weight in free fall where forces act to cancel one another out.)

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I just ordered my sons First Communion invitations this past weekend. He is well versed in the facts of the Eucharist and he full understand the religious and personal significance. I enjoyed reading your observation and analysis, very refreshing :)



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on May 22, 2006 2:24 PM.

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