St John's Q&A

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

"If you miss Mass..."

Confessions and Adoration, Friday (8/11), 7 pm, SAA Church - We will expose the Eucharist and I will be available in the Church booths for Confession this Friday, starting at 7 pm. All are welcome!
Yesterday, someone asked, "if you miss a Mass or you haven't been to Mass for a few weeks, are you allowed to take communion?" Good question! If someone intentionally misses Mass on Sunday or a Holy Day of Obligation, then he/she should not receive Holy Communion until he/she goes to Confession. The reason for this is because we can never receive the Body and Blood of Christ in a state of mortal sin.

How is intentionally missing Mass a mortal sin? Well, let's review the three conditions of a mortal sin: 1) Grave offense - it's seriously wrong, 2) full knowledge-I fully know it's wrong, and 3) full consent-I freely choose to do it. It is a grave offense to miss Sunday Mass. Catholics know they need to go to Mass on Sunday. So, if they freely choose to skip, then all three conditions would be met, and the act would be considered a mortal sin. [But, if someone does not freely choose to miss, - e.g., on vacation and no Mass is offered where they are, or no way of getting to Church, or too sick, or homebound - then it's not a mortal sin.] As I wrote in my post last Friday, "receiving Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin is itself a mortal sin".

Any time we are not sure - or have any doubt at all - if a particular sin that we committed during the week was a mortal sin, we should not receive (still come forward, but cross your arms over your chest, and receive a blessing). While this isn't ideal (I would recommend going to Confession asap), the most important point here is to respect the Body of Christ. I have great respect for those who respect the Eucharist, and are not worried about what others in Church might think.

With this in mind, we recall a great blog made here in late July by Pete S, a SAA teen. Pete wrote a pretty amazing post about John 6:53; I agree with most of what he wrote. But, keep in mind that Christ speaks to us here as individuals, and telling us that He is the life of our souls. Without Him, our souls die. Just like if our bodies don't eat food, they will die, so, too, our souls will die without eating spiritual food.

The Eucharist is our spiritual food. It is "eternal life" dwelling within us. It is Heaven on Earth! "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life" (v.54) is referring not just to when we die, but Sunday. I can experience eternal on Earth.

But, if we consistently live without the Eucharist, we consistently live without eternal here on Earth. If done knowingly and freely, it brings darkness and death to our souls: "no life within you".


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