Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time September 25th
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
When I celebrate Funeral Masses, I never know who will be
in attendance. There are those who are active parishioners,
who attend Mass here at St. Joseph and know how we
celebrate the Holy Mass. Also, there are those who will
attend that are from other parishes that do not have a
Communion Rail, and do not know what it is to kneel.
There are those who attend who are still very cautious and
will wear a mask and still are very awkward in trying to
receive Holy Communion. And, there are those who are
fallen away Catholics and those who know nothing of the
Catholic practices and our worship who will be in
attendance. My homily for a funeral is always one that will
teach what a funeral Mass is all about and why we do what
we do. Also, when I am aware that we have mixed company,
I will always give instructions before I distribute Holy
Communion – “This part of the Catholic Mass is
‘Holy Communion.’ It is to express our union with the Lord
as baptized Catholics and our faith in what Jesus has given
us, namely, the bread is now His Body and Blood. All those
who are Catholic, and are properly prepared by a good
Confession, may come forward to receive Holy
Communion.” A recent funeral there were more than I was
used to that did not know what to do. When this happens, I
actually ask, ‘are you Catholic?’ Some said ‘yes,’ but they
did not know how to even receive, and there were some who
said, ‘No,’ I am not Catholic. So, of course, I did not give
them Holy Communion. Then there were those who still had
their masks on and didn’t know how to receive. I actually
had to ask them to remove the mask so that they can receive
properly. After the Mass, as I was getting ready to leave for
the cemetery for the burial, I was approached by a person
who wanted to know why I asked her to remove her mask.
I told her that so many had desecrated the Eucharist as they
tried to force the Eucharist through their mask, others
dropped the Host as they tried to hold it and remove their
mask at the same time, and still others broke the Host as they
tried to lift their mask and put the Host under the mask to
receive. She was not happy. She told me that Jesus wouldn’t
have cared. Why am I sharing this with you. Well, we have
done even more harm to our Catholic faith because of the
pandemic. So many no longer understanding the meaning of
the Eucharist. The Church has also done harm to herself
when it issued a “dispensation” from having to attend Mass
on Sundays. Still, today, there are many who are more than
content with watching Mass on their computer. Yet, we are
the Catholic Church, the Church that Jesus has built, and as
the Church, we are the Body of Christ – we are what we eat.
Over the next few weeks I will be sharing with you what the
Eucharistic Revival in the United States is all about.
Fr. Steven Guitron