Why can’t everyone who wants to receive Communion, receive Communion at Mass?
Social organizations have all sorts of requirements for membership: dues, academic achievements, professional standings, even a specific national origin. We rarely question them and accept them as a fact of life. The requirements help the group focus on its common interests, purposes and goals. Everyone can’t belong to everything.
The church has a basic requirement for membership and receiving sacraments; it is a relationship with God. We happen to call it faith. Faith allows the church to be one, focused on spreading the good news of Jesus and carrying on his mission of teaching, preaching, healing and forgiving. It is the practice of faith, participating in the work of the church, that makes one worthy to receive Communion. The word itself comes from the Latin word that means sharing.
For non-Catholics, because they do not share in the union of faith, they are excluded from receiving Communion. For Catholics, if guilty of serious sin, they, too, are excluded from the sacrament until they are reconciled, or restored to the mission of the church. Why? Because sin separates us from the work of the church. Communion is the culmination of our union with God and his people, not the beginning point. We receive what we in fact are: the body of Christ-one, holy, Catholic and apostolic.
©2009 Liturgical Publications Inc
Used with permission