Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Many of us were dismayed to see the Unites States Conference of Catholic Bishops vote to proceed with drafting a document regarding the Eucharist, fearing that it might be used as a (pre)text to deny the Sacrament to some of the faithful, particularly public officials and politicians. It is some small comfort that recent statements seem to indicate that this will not be the intention of any document that appears. It certainly struck me that, after the years we have been through recently, the last thing that was needed was to have the Church exacerbate our political differences, even as those political differences continue to sow more divisions within the U.S. Church itself.
While we should all welcome additional catechesis on the Eucharist and continually seek to understand and appreciate Jesus’ presence in it more deeply, it seems antithetical to the Sacrament that it become a source of discord. From Paul writing to the nascent Church in Corinth to the present day, perceiving the Lord in the supper to which all are called, and recognizing it as the source of our unity with each other, as well as with God, has often been a struggle. As I have mentioned previously, it is my fervent hope that more and more will be able to return Mass to receive Christ in the Sacrament. (It may be a bit ironic that Baltimore City lifting the indoor mask mandate in July might discourage some of our parishioners from making that return to the Eucharist.) We should all strive, though the Eucharist and in our actions, to fulfill Jesus’ great prayer “that all may be one.”