Oh man, we’re gonna get a little bit controversial!Recently, I have heard news that certain prelates within the Church have taken it upon themselves to interpret Amoris Laetitia in ways that could be a “shift” in the Magisterium. The problem with this is that the Magisterium cannot and will not change. The Magisterium is the teaching authority of the Church based upon the Truth of Christ and the Tradition of the Church (with a capital “T”). Some of these prelates have suggested that there is a means to which we as a Church can regularize Holy Eucharist for divorced and remarried persons without an annulment from the Church. I will tell you, that there are indeed cases in which that is possible, but these cases are very few and far between and they require an extreme amount of discernment and discretion. So on to what I want to speak about for my reflection on this Sunday.
First, here are the readings:
Lv 13:1-2, 44-46
Ps 32:1-2, 5, 11
1 Cor 10:31-11:1
I will be offering a reflection on the first reading in conjunction with the Gospel according to St. Mark. In these readings, there is a theme of uncleanliness from leprosy. We receive clear instructions from God about how a leper is to act in order to avoid from making others sick. Well, I am using this reflection to draw a parallel between leprosy and sin (yes, I know one is a sin and the other is a disease that you aren’t responsible). So, let us say that God is actually using leprosy as an analogy for sin. In Leviticus, we hear that one who has leprosy (sin), is to declare himself unclean and warn others. The leper is leave the community in order to protect the community (not saying that most lepers weren’t run out of town . . .).So what does this have to do with sin and the prelates that I was speaking about before? I used what the prelates said in order to draw one example of mortal sin that one is to not receive Holy Eucharist, but if we truly know our Faith, then we should know that regardless of what mortal sin it is. If we have a mortal sin on our hearts, we are not to receive our Lord for that would be sacrilege (man, another mortal sin on top of the mortal sin that we already have, not fun). Remember, St. Paul states this very clearly:
For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. (1 Cor 11:29)
Thus, if we receive the Lord unworthily, we cast further judgement upon ourselves. So what does this have to do with leprosy? Just as a leper recognizes himself as unclean, so must those who are in a state of mortal sin recognize that they are unclean. Stained by sin. It is a great pain and embarrassment to not receive the Holy Eucharist on Sunday. “Is anybody looking? I feel so weird not going up. Oh my, this person is going to have to step over me. I will just go up anyways, what does it matter?” If these are thoughts that we have in our head, know that these are temptations of the Devil to further throw us into sin. Rather, we must do what the leper in the Gospel does.
A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.” The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. (Mk 1:40-42)
Here we see that the unclean leper comes before the Lord and trusts in Jesus and begs Him for His pity . . . His Divine Mercy. This is what confession is for! Just as the unclean leper begs Christ for pity, so must we that are in mortal sin (and venial for that matter, sin in general), come before Christ and seek His pity. For he will give it! No matter what sin, He will forgive it. As long as we are contrite of heart and truly desire to follow Him!
All in all, I think that I just wanted to remind us that we should take the Eucharist very seriously. We should take our souls very seriously. Go to confession and receive our Lord worthily! I will be right there in line with you! We are all sinners after all. Sinners who seek Salvation. Let’s become saints!