Presentation on theme: "Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion Sponsored by Saint Anthony’s Bread Apostolate The Church of Saint Anthony."— Presentation transcript:
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion Sponsored by Saint Anthony’s Bread Apostolate The Church of Saint Anthony
We come together as Community, as Brothers and Sisters in and of Christ, Jesus Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever."
Give them some food yourselves Saint Mark 6:37a “Give them some food yourselves,” Jesus said. It was an extraordinary Command, an impossible command. His disciples had followed him to a deserted place, but a vast crowd still managed to find them. The crowd was hungry for God. The heart of Jesus was moved with pity. But his disciples were moved with despair.
It was getting late… It was getting late. The disciples were probably getting hungry. They only had a snack… Five loaves and two fish, was not nearly enough to share with this extremely large crowd. They probably didn’t have enough energy either… So they came up with a practical suggestion and presented it to Jesus. “Dismiss them” they said, “so that they can go to the surrounding farms and villages and buy themselves something to eat. It wasn’t a bad proposal. It expressed their care and concern. It made some sense to the disciples under the circumstances. But Jesus not always known for practicality, had another idea… “Give them some food yourselves.” The disciples were not short on food, they were short on cash. “Are we to buy two hundred days’ wages worth of food and give it to them to eat? They were not envisioning a gourmet picnic in the desert, the size of the crowd was enormous…
You’re the ones to feed them… Jesus stuck directly to his plan. He took what little food they had, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the disciples… Not to the people. The disciples had to give them the food themselves. Isn’t it amazing, that miraculously, there was enough.
Just what are we giving as His disciples Saint Faustina writes in her diary, Jesus’ revelation: When I come to a human heart in Holy Communion, my hands are full of all kinds of graces which I want to give to the soul, but souls do not even pay attention to me. They leave me to myself and busy themselves with other things… They treat me as a dead object” Aren’t you experiencing the indifference from the penitent who comes to receive Communion? What is your attitude… are you offering a pious demeanor or are you indifferent when distribution the Body of Christ?
The Eucharist IS NOT a dead object… The Eucharist is ALIVE… That may seem obvious to most of you… I guess it was to me, at some intellectual level, but somehow I never really thought very deeply about what it actually meant… The Eucharist is alive. If a stranger who knew nothing about the Eucharist were to watch the way we received, would he or she know this? … I observe people carry on conversations in the procession line… Greet and wave to people on their way back to their seats… Speak to some even before the Body of Christ is consumed… When you and I approach the Eucharist, does it look like we believe we are about to take into our bodies the living person, Jesus Christ, true God and true man?
How many times have I forgotten? How many times Lord, have I forgotten that the Eucharist is alive! As I wait in line to receive you each day, am I thinking about how much you want to unite yourself with me? Am I seeing your hands filled with graces you want to give me? Am I filled with awe and gratitude that you love me so much as to actually want to come to me in this incredibly intimate way? Am I distracted, busy with other thoughts, preoccupied with myself and my agendas for the day? How many times, Jesus, have I made you sad, mindlessly receiving you into my body, into my heart, with no love and no recognition of your love? How many times have I treated you as a dead object? … The Host that we receive is not a thing! It’s not a wafer! It’s not bread! It’s a person… He’s alive! How many times have I treated you like a dead object? Would a typical stranger in our church think the same way?
The Source and Summit of our Christian Life The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Most Blessed Sacrament, Communion, the Lord's Supper, the Sacrament of the Eucharist. By whatever name, the Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life, the pinnacle, the height of Catholic experience this side of heaven. Saint Cyril of Alexandria's Commentary on the Gospel of John: “I am dying for all men”, says the Lord. “I am dying to give them life through myself and to redeem the whole human race through my humanity. In my death, death itself will die and man’s fallen nature will rise again with me. I wanted to be like my brothers in every respect, so I became a man like you, a descendant of Abraham”. Understanding this well Saint Paul says: As the children of a family share the same flesh and blood, he too shared our human nature so that by his death he could destroy the power of the devil, the prince of death. Death itself and the prince of death could be destroyed only by Christ, who is above all, giving himself up as a ransom for all.
Baptism is the Foundation of our Ministry Baptism is the foundation of all ministry in the Church. Before we are an Extra Ordinary Minister, we are a baptized member of the Body of Christ, with all the attendant blessings and duties. Baptism helps us personally… It cleanses us from sin and incorporates us into the Body of Christ. Baptism also gives us responsibilities toward others: It assigns us a place among the faithful who worship at the Eucharist and who serve our neighbors in the name of Christ. Baptism summons us to worship and service.
Let us ask ourselves… Just who are we? As believers, our role at Mass; at the Hospital; at the Nursing Home; at the House of the Homebound, is so important, that together with others at the church, we are called a priestly people. Saint Peter has called us the Royal Priesthood… All the faithful join with the celebrant to give thanks to God and offer the sacrifice. In doing this, we also learn to offer ourselves completely to God. The law about going to Mass on Sunday is not to attend Mass, but to participate at Mass. As a community of Baptized, we all have something to do there. As part of the Body of Christ, we all have to love our neighbors as ourselves. We practice this command of God, Himself when we bring the Living Trinity to them in the form of the Eucharist. We who are part of the priestly nation have sacrifice to offer as does the ministerial priest. We are an integral part of the priestly component of the Roman Catholic Church and specifically needed in this day and age of the ministerial priestly shortage.
Michael the Archangel, Guardian of the Tabernacle In 1916, as a year of preparation for our Lady’s appearances at Fatima, the Angel of Peace appeared three times to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco… The most dramatic scene is the third visit, when the angel comes with the Eucharist. Suspending the Host and the chalice in the air, he throws himself prostrate on the ground and has the children repeat the following prayer three times: Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifference with which He Himself is offended. And, through the infinite merits of His most Sacred heart and the Immaculate heart of Mary, I beg of You the conversion of poor sinners.
A Short History of our Ministry Extraordinary ministers have been essential to the reverent sharing of Holy Communion, especially when it is distributed under both forms to the faithful. Our ministry was born, though, because of several practical necessities: In the early days of the church, there were fewer restrictions about who distributed Holy Communion. For example, a sick person could have asked a friend to bring the sacrament. One of the early martyrs of the Church, Saint Tarcisius, was killed while brining Holy Communion to the sick as an acolyte. But by the Middle Ages the ministry was restricted to bishops and priests. Deacons were considered the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, and on some occasions they administered the Blood of Christ from the chalice. Throughout Christian history, rare circumstances existed when the non-ordained served as exceptional ministers of Holy Communion, for example in danger of someone’s death or in times of persecution. But the practice was largely unknown.
The Second Vatican Council It was the Second Vatican Council that opened up the ministry of distributing Communion. They also changed the use of the word, extraordinary. Formerly deacons were Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Because deacons are ordained clergy, the Council included them among the “ordinary” ministers of Holy Communion. The Second Vatican Council permitted bishops to appoint the non-ordained to distribute Communion, and these were now called “extraordinary” ministers. *(That is, “outside of the ordinary.”) In 1969, the Vatican announced several reasons for expanding communion ministry to the non-ordained or the laity. It’s important to understand that the work laity comes from the Latin “laos) which means, “the people of God.” Outside the Mass, people needed access to Holy Communion when the ordinary minister was not available. The usual minister was sometimes impeded by poor health, advanced age, or the demands of the pastoral ministry. Time conservativeness at Mass with large numbers wishing to receive Communion.
Now Where Do We Go and What do we Do? vi·at·i·cum (v-t-km, v-)… n. pl. vi·at·i·ca (-k) or vi·at·i·cums 1. Ecclesiastical Terminology: The Eucharist given to a dying person or one in danger of death. 2. Supplies for a journey, or Food for the Journey Sacraments for the Dying in the Absence of a Priest. For a Roman Catholic, in addition to the prayers one can say for the sick and dying, the last sacrament is actually the Eucharist (communion) in the form of Viaticum. If a priest were available, he would hear the person's confession, give the sacrament of the sick, and give communion. Only a priest can hear a confession or give the sacrament of the sick. However, a deacon, or a lay person, who is designated a Eucharistic Minister by his/her pastor in accordance with the regulations of the local bishop can give communion to the dying. When a Eucharistic Minister becomes aware that someone is dying, and no priest is available he or she should go to the Church and obtain a consecrated host and take it to the sick person.
The Permission of Canon Law Continues: Can. 911 sec.1 The duty and right to bring the blessed Eucharist to the sick as Viaticum belongs to the parish priest, to assistant priests, to chaplains and, in respect of all who are in the house, to the community Superior in clerical religious institutes or societies of apostolic life. sec.2 In a case of necessity, or with the permission at least presumed of the parish priest, chaplain or Superior, who must subsequently be notified, any priest or Other minister of holy communion must do this. Code of Canon Law, Sanctifying Office of the Church, Article One, the Minister of the Eucharist. Can. 921 §1. The Christian faithful who are in danger of death from any cause are to be nourished by holy communion in the form of Viaticum. §2. Even if they have been nourished by holy communion on the same day, however, those in danger of death are strongly urged to receive communion again. §3. While the danger of death lasts, it is recommended that holy communion be Administered often, but on separate days. Can. 922 Holy Viaticum for the sick is not to be delayed too long; those who have the care of souls are to be zealous and vigilant that the sick are nourished by Viaticum while fully conscious. Code of Canon Law.
The Sick Person Receiving Communion If the sick person wishes to receive communion but indicates the need to go to confession first, the lay minister cannot hear the person's confession. The sick person should make a sincere, or perfect, act of contrition and then receive communion. (However, if a confused sick person admits, or confesses, some sin anyway, the minister is bound to the same secrecy as is a priest.) "The Eucharist, which continuously makes the paschal mystery of Christ to be present among us, is the source of every grace and of the forgiveness of sins. Nevertheless, those who intend to receive the body of the Lord must approach it with a pure conscience and proper dispositions of soul if they are to receive the effects of the paschal sacrament.
The Church Prescribes On this account the Church prescribes 'that those conscious of mortal sin, even though they think themselves to be contrite, must not go to the holy Eucharist without sacramental confession beforehand.' When there is a serious reason and no opportunity for confession, they are to make an act of perfect contrition with the intention of confessing individually [to a priest], as soon as possible, the mortal sins that they cannot confess at present.“ A Ritual for Laypersons, The Liturgical Press, copyright 1993 by Order of St Benedict. Published under authority of NCCB of USA, pp. 7-8.
"Can. 916 Anyone who is conscious of grave sin may not celebrate Mass or receive the Body of the Lord without previously having been to sacramental confession, unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, which includes the resolve to go to confession as soon as possible.“ Code of Canon Law, Sanctifying Office of the Church, Participation in the Blessed Eucharist. ** (Being in danger of death should certainly constitute a "grave reason" and the "absence of a priest" would mean no opportunity to confess.) "When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called 'perfect' (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible. Catechism of the Catholic Church, contrition.
Repentance 1492 Repentance (also called contrition) must be inspired by motives that arise from faith. If repentance arises from love of charity for God, it is called "perfect" contrition; if it is founded on other motives, it is called "imperfect." The Rite of Viaticum… The Last Sacrament… Food for the Journey…
ST. TARCISIUS, MARTYR Third Century A tradition dating from the sixth century says that St. Tarcisius was an acolyte whose fidelity and courage so impressed the leaders of the Church during the persecution of Valerian that he was entrusted with taking the Blessed Sacrament secretly to the Christians who awaited martyrdom in prison. This custom arose when the priests who ministered to the prisoners would be easily discovered, while the acolytes were less known to the heathens. The Roman Martyrology, based on the fourth-century poem of Pope St. Damasus, gives the story of the "boy martyr of the Eucharist" in these words: "
At Rome, on the Appian way, the passion of St. Tarcisius the acolyte, whom pagans met carrying the sacrament of the Body of Christ and asked him what it was he was carrying. He deemed it a shameful thing to cast pearls before the swine, and so was assaulted by them for a long time with clubs and stones until he gave up the ghost. When they turned over his body, the sacrilegious assailants could find no trace of Christ's Sacrament either in his hands or in his clothing. The Christians took up the body of the martyr and buried it with honor in the cemetery of Callistus." In his poem Pope Damasus compares St. Tarcisius with St. Stephen who was stoned by the Jews, and praises the martyr for suffering a cruel death rather than surrender "the divine Body to raging dogs." The body of St. Tarcisius was most probably laid to rest with those of Pope St. Zephyrinus and others in the Basilica of St. Sixtus and Cecilia, but at present it is said to be in the Church of San Silvestro in Capite. St. Tarcisius is venerated as a model for altar boys and as an example of loving and heroic devotion to our Lord in the Holy Eucharist.