“A certain man gave a great supper, and he invited many” (Luke, 14:16)
Last Thursday we celebrated the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Feast of The Blessed Sacrament. The day of the institution of the Blessed Sacrament was the day before Our Lord's painful death on the cross and we commemorate this event during Holy Week, on Holy Thursday. However, since this day occurs at the mournful time of Our Lord's Passion, we cannot manifest the joy and exaltation which this great Sacrament deserves. Hence, the Church has assigned for this purpose another day, the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. Today we are sail within the octave of this glorious Feast, and so the Church reads in the Mass of this Sunday the Gospel of the man who gave a great supper and invited many. The reference of this Gospel is clearly to Our Lord Who has prepared for us a banquet of His own body and blood, and invited all the members of His Church to partake of this feast.
The incident of the Gospel, the reluctance of certain persons to come to the banquet, is verified in the reaction of our own day toward the reception of Holy Communion. There are Catholics in great numbers who will not approach the altar to partake of the Blessed Sacrament, except very rarely--perhaps only once or twice a year. These persons are accustomed to make many excuses for their negligence, such as their unworthiness, the difficulty of getting to confession because of their work, the hct that they feel no devotion, etc. But none of these excuses is valid. The only thing that should keep Catholics away from frequent Holy Communion is mortal sin; and mortal sin is entirely due to a person's own will. Furthermore, those who find it difficult to avoid mortal sin will receive abundant graces to overcome temptations if they receive Holy Communion frequently.
The definite doctrine of our Catholic faith that the Blessed Sacrament contains the real body and blood of Jesus Christ should suffice to urge us to frequent communion. What greater privilege could the human soul enjoy than to have the Son of God as its Guest? How can we better solve the problems of life and meet its difficulties courageously than by seeking the aid of Him who is the divine source of supernatural light and strength? On this Sunday, while the Church is rejoicing in the great gift of the Blessed Sacrament, every practical Catholic should resolve to receive Holy Communion at least once a month.
Remember the conditions for frequent communion laid down by Pope St. Plus X-the state of grace and a good intention. Even daily communion is open to all who fulfil these conditions and it will bring the fullness of grace and joy into our Catholic life.