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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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WHO do we encounter in Holy Communion?

A big deal is being made about the bishops who want to take a strong position against pro-abortion politicians receiving Holy Communion. Maybe we should return to an emphasis about WHOM we are receiving?

Every time we come up for Holy Communion, we encounter the risen Lord, present and alive in his undivided divinity and humanity, body and soul.  The sacrament is the chief manner by which Jesus Christ abides with us.  While he ascends to the Father, he refuses to abandon us or to leave us orphaned.  He gives us himself as food for the journey.  If one reflects long and hard about it, it is an event that can be likened to the particular and final judgment.  Then too, we will stand before the Lord and if properly disposed will know eternal grace and welcoming.  However, if ill-disposed in mortal sin, then we will stand convicted, knowing only despair and being cast into perdition.  The Eucharist feeds and heals.  The Eucharist, if properly received, transforms us ever more and more into the likeness of God’s Son.  The Eucharist can also bring down judgment when it is received as a terrible sacrilege.

While we live in this world, repentance is possible.  Earthly pilgrims can know conversion, renewed faith and abide in the hope of ultimate salvation. It is the prospect of a negative judgment before the Eucharist that drives many clergy forward in wanting to withhold the sacrament from dreadful public sinners and supporters of wrongs like abortion. I will repeat myself once more— any who would deny the hidden but real presence of the child in the womb is ill-disposed to receive the hidden REAL PRESENCE of Christ in the Eucharist.

Giving the sacrament to those who would enable the abortion of children would be like directing the murderous soldiers of old Herod to where they might slay the Christ Child.  Any who would receive the Eucharist should be in a state of grace and spiritually prepared.  After death, the posture or orientation we have forged with God becomes permanent. It is lamentable that the healing food or medicine for contrite sinners might also be desecrated as a poison to those ill-disposed to grace, manifesting them as devils without saving love in their hearts.

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