Friday, October 11, 2013

An Uninvited (Not Unwanted) Guest for Supper

Who should partake in the Eucharist? Insight from someone who can't.

Just the other day there was a posting on another blog talking about the implications of allowing versus not allowing people to partake in sacrament of the Eucharist. I wanted to explore this particular topic since, right now, I'm one of those people who cannot.

I've always taken the view that the Mass is a celebration with a meal -- a birthday party of similar celebration. Birthday may be too giddy; lets say a family's graduation party. There is the family, each has participated in the family unit, each has a seat at the dinner table once the meal arrives. What do you do if you have uninvited guests? Say a mix of other relatives (Christian brothers and sisters) as well as friends (non-family; non-Christian). Well, if you were raised right you'd make due and share. However, this is where my analogy breaks down -- this is special dinner. Mana if you will.

Now, we don't want to exclude our extended family or friends. On the contrary we want them to have a seat, listen and eventually be so moved as to EARN that seat at the table. I'm one of those "special cases".

I, like my wife, have been in failed marriage before our own. The two of us were married before we even started RCIA. Thus we do not "qualify" to sit at the table. Do we sit at home and pout until we can? Could we waltz up and receive it? Sure, but what does that say to our convictions much less reverence. It says that we'd much rather live in a relationship and receive the Eucharist unlawfully, than play by the rules. 

I'm sure there are many, many people that skirt these rules. Whereas my wife and I decided to NOT live as brother and sister in Christ, we also accepted that until our annulment and marriage blessing was finalized we'd be unable to ALLOW OURSELVES, to partake. And that's okay. We have now, three of our five children Baptised and two are even receiving Communion. The rest of the family? Well we cross our arms and receive our blessing (except the infant; if we are lucky she's sleeping when blessed).

I guess the entire message I'm wanting to convey is this -- good things are worth waiting for. If you honor the "rules" regardless of feeling out of place, it will make the reward that much more worth it. That said, it may turn out that neither my annulment or that of my wife is accepted and we will be living in sin. It is the sad truth but certainly a possibility. Just get right with the Church's teaching, get right with God and above all else don't assume that no one is looking. He knows.

And more more thing before I go. Get to Mass on time, don't leave early! It's not Fast Food and if it was a particularly important relative inviting you to supper you certainly wouldn't act that way, don't treat your Parish that way either. I'll get off my soapbox now.