Mass is Re-Opening. Approach it with Love for Others and Respect for Life

Mass is Re-Opening. Approach it with Love for Others and Respect for Life May 12, 2020

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Robert Cheaib

Which is lawful on the Sabbath; to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill? Jesus Christ 

Catholic Churches here in Oklahoma will be re-opening for mass soon. Meanwhile, at least some bishops around the country are allowing communion-on-the-tongue.

I think that most active Catholics are aware that we are not required to attend Sunday mass if we have health reasons to stay home. I’m not a bishop, but I am personally interpreting that to mean that anyone who is especially vulnerable to the ravages of COVID-19 should continue to participate in mass either online or on tv. 

I would automatically include anyone who is over 55, who has a heart or lung problem, including asthma and high blood pressure, or children whose lives and health are our responsibility. Personally, I would rather die a thousand times than lose one of my grandchildren.  

I think that it would be an act of charity for those people who are fixated on communion on the tongue to either forego communion until the virus is finally beaten down or to, out of charity, take communion in the hand. If this is difficult for you, offer up your difficulty to the souls in Purgatory. 

Communion on the tongue not only increases the possibility that, if you are infected, you would infect your priest, it also sets you up to infect everyone in the communion line behind you. Insisting on communion on the tongue in a time of pandemic seems more like a selfish display of religiosity and a deliberate act of aggression against your fellow Christians than a sign of worshipful reverence. 

My husband says that he will attend mass when the churches re-open, but he and the whole family are resolute that I am staying home. My husband even said “I won’t allow it,” meaning, I guess, that he would hogtie me and lock me in a closet if I wanted to come. 

Fortunately, that won’t be necessary. My understanding of the Almighty includes the belief that He loves me and I am precious to Him. My life matters. All human life matters. Martyrdom for Christ does not include going to mass in a pandemic when you know you are at risk. That’s not martyrdom. It’s disrespecting the gift of life that you have been given. 

We’re going to ask our pastor to consecrate my husband to be my extraordinary minister of the Eucharist and bring communion home to me. I’ll participate in mass on tv and trust the Lord to supply the lacks. 

I hope you won’t insist on communion on the tongue during this time of pandemic. If you truly know Jesus, then know that He wants you to care for your brothers and sisters, not infect them. You can best love Jesus by loving them. 

Life is precious. Respect it. 

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