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Jesus' life and words

Eight Short Essays

Eight Short Essays


Article 1: Withholding Communion : a Weapon of Mass Deception?

Some American bishops, with many good God-fearing Catholic Christians, incensed that some other Catholics do not intend to follow their fatwah to vote against any candidate who supports the right of a woman to have an abortion, want them and these candidates banned from the Eucharist.

Holy Mother the Church teaches that abortion is a sin. But is a sin (a subject which concerns the Church) the same as a crime (a subject that concerns the State)? Is it not a sin to miss Mass on Sunday without valid reason? Must the State prosecute its citizens for not going to Mass on Sunday? Certainly not! Why then should the State prosecute a woman who has an abortion because the Church says it is a sin? Why should a Catholic layperson be forced to vote so as to impose the Magisterium's decisions on the whole citizenry? Are we to give such an example to other religions so they also try to impose on the whole citizenry their religious observances, like the sabbath's restrictions and the application of the sharia? Let us not forget that the Crusades and the Inquisition are shining examples of the Magisterium's interventions in public affairs!

Could these same bishops tell us where it is said in the Cathechism that it is a grave sin to vote not to impose our religious obligations on others ?

These points are of very little importance compared to the following, which goes to the very core of what the Church is about. It is indeed essential to see if such a penalty for non-compliance is in line with Jesus' message as He should be our Model in all things.

Three of the Gospels clearly state that, on the evening before He died, Jesus took some bread, gave thanks, gave it to all present telling them all to eat what was now His body, and likewise passed a cup filled with wine and told them all to drink from it as its wine was now His blood. Jesus fed Himself to all present, including Judas, knowing full well that the latter had already betrayed Him and was in the process of sending Him to a terrible death!

The fact that all present are to eat His flesh and drink His blood is clearly stated in the words of consecration at Holy Mass where the priest as alter Christus repeats Jesus' words to those assembled: «Take this, all of you...».

So he tells all present to eat Jesus' flesh and drink His blood, just as Jesus did Himself. And Holy Mother the Church in her wisdom clearly states that no one is worthy to eat Jesus as all the congregation is to say: «Lord, I am not worthy...» after being invited to the Feast of the Lamb.

Jesus, God-made-man, Love-made-man, came to heal sinners. He never excluded anyone from His presence, whatever their state of sinfulness, to the great scandal of the righteous. He never judged or imposed anything on anyone, unlike the scribes and the pharisees.

The Church's duty is to follow the example of her Lord and God, rather than that of the Enemy who «accused them before our God day and night». Judging others' worthiness is not the rôle of the Christian but that of the Devil. Forgiving others is what Jesus' message is all about. This is what He did on the Cross when He shed His blood to show us the depth of His love.

Solemnity of Corpus Christi, June 10th, 2004.

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