by John Martignoni
(Marriage and the Eucharist, cont’d.) Why are non-Catholics not allowed to receive Communion in the Catholic Church? It’s because receiving Communion in the Catholic Church, when you are not a member of the Catholic Church, when you have not committed yourself completely and totally to the Church, is like having sex outside of marriage.
A lot of folks reason that since sex is a gift from God – after all God gave us our sexual desires – then it can’t be wrong to use that gift and act on those desires. It doesn’t matter if one is married or not. Especially if it’s two consenting adults. Well, we’ve shown that God’s way of doing things involves 3 steps: 1) Commitment, the man shall leave his mother and father, 2) Marriage, he shall cleave to his wife, and then 3) The two shall become one. The physical consummation of the marriage is the sign that there is a lifelong commitment already in place. It is the sign that these two people have given their very lives to each other. It is the sign that God has joined these two people together.
Sex outside of marriage is a lie. You are speaking a lie with your body. You are saying I am committed to you for life with your body, when actually no such commitment exists. It is a lie, a very serious lie. You are lying to the person you are committing this act with. And, even if you are “in love”, it is still a lie. Why would you want to engage in a lie with someone you are supposedly in love with? When you put step #3 – the two shall become one – before steps 1 or 2, you are messing with God’s plan for marriage. And whenever you mess with God’s plan, something unpleasant will eventually result.
Sex outside of marriage is getting things out of order. There is no lifelong commitment in place, therefore the sign of that commitment, physical intimacy, should not take place. To be sexually active outside of marriage is to be consummating a commitment that does not exist. It is engaging in a lie.
Drawing the parallel, a lot of non-Catholics believe that they should have the right to receive the Eucharist in our Church. They even get offended when they are told that they can’t. A lot of Catholics believe it’s no big deal if non-Catholics receive the Eucharist. But allowing non-Catholics to receive the Eucharist is, again, tantamount to approving of sex outside of marriage. If a person is not a Catholic, then that means that they are not fully united to the Church. They have not made a total commitment to the Church. The Eucharist is the sign and source of unity among Christians, and particularly so for Catholic Christians. It is the sign that the two have become one, and that the many have become one. If someone is not a Catholic, even though they may believe what Catholics believe about the Eucharist actually being the Body and Blood of Christ, they cannot receive Communion. They are not fully united to the Church, no lifelong commitment has been made. No commitment…no consummation…no Eucharist!
When we receive the Eucharist, we are saying, with our bodies, that we believe what the Catholic Church teaches…in its entirety. We are saying we believe not only what the Church teaches on the Eucharist, but we are also saying that we believe what it teaches on the priesthood, on the Communion of Saints, on the Sacraments, on Mary, on the Mass, and on and on. If someone who is not Catholic receives Communion, then they are saying to us, with their bodies, that they believe all that Catholics believe. That they have made a commitment and they are consummating that commitment. But, they don’t believe as we do! And they haven’t made that commitment! That’s why they’re not Catholic.
Therefore, for them to receive the Eucharist, would be a lie. They would be lying with their bodies before God and before man. Just as those who engage in sexual relations outside of marriage are lying with their bodies to each other and to God. So, if anyone ever asks you why Catholics do not allow non-Catholics to receive Communion, you can simply say that it’s because we don’t believe in sex outside of marriage. That is why we do not allow non-Catholics to receive Communion in the Catholic Church…we do not want them to engage in a lie.
And that is why we, as Catholics, cannot receive Communion in Protestant churches. We would be saying, with our bodies, that we believe as they believe. But we don’t, so it would be a lie before man and God to receive Communion, or the Lord’s Supper, in a Protestant church.
So, again, if anyone ever asks you why non-Catholics cannot receive Communion in the Catholic Church, simply ask them if they are in communion with the Catholic Church. Ask them if they believe all that the Church teaches, on everything, not just on the Eucharist. If they say no, ask them why it is they want to receive Communion in the Church when they are not actually in communion with the Church? Ask them why they want to receive the sign of unity, when there is no unity? Make it clear to them that the act of receiving Communion in our Church is a declaration that they believe as we believe. And, if they don’t believe as we believe, then, should they receive the Eucharist, they are committing a lie with their bodies and it would be an egregious offense against the Church and against God. Tell them it is just like sex outside of marriage. They want the consummation before they’ve made the commitment.
Next week: Same-sex “marriage”…
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