“The Body of Christ,” Reward or Grace

ImageThe Church loves lists.  We had the movie list and its ratings of what movies our parents would approve of and those we’d see anyway, someday; I wonder if anyone bothers to refer to that list before seeing a film.  Now we have lists of priest abusers.  Each diocese is supposed to post it online, most don’t.  Is the list on an Excel spreadsheet?  Now we need a list of politicians who cannot receive communion because of their pro abortion stance.

June’s special Sunday is Corpus Christi Sunday, honoring the body and blood of Christ.  Reward or grace?  Is communion intended to be a type of dog treat for those who are doing a good job or is it intended to be a source of efficacious grace.  (I love the word efficacious although there are not many opportunities to use in a typical conversation.)  Actually, “efficacious grace” is redundant.  Grace can only produce the desired result that defines efficacious.  Sinners and those slightly off the path need the Eucharist more than anyone.  Instead of denying politicians communion, the bishops should be saying “You need to receive communion much more frequently than you presently are.  You need the grace of the sacrament to help you in your discernment and judgments.”
Is it our attitude and preparation toward the Eucharist that makes it grace filled or is it the reception that prompts better behavior and links us closer to Jesus?
People still ask me that immortal question, “Father I received communion this morning, can I go to again this afternoon?”  “No,” I say, “you’ve already had your treat.”  (See the tongue in my cheek!…)

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About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. He is associate pastor of partnering parishes, Christ King and St. Bernard parishes in Wauwatosa, WI.
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