With widespread panic and fear around Coronavirus, people are questioning the stability of things: the stock market, public gathering, and even receiving Holy Communion.
It is understandable that many people are afraid and questioning — it is natural, especially when we are being constantly told that the threat is epic in nature. Questioning is good in that it can lead us to good decisions, like speaking to your doctor and not only listening to ones on TV. Hopefully it is prompting us to wash our hands more (20 seconds please), cover when we cough, and stay home when we are sick — all things that our doctors have been telling us for years. The Church understands, respects and promotes these questionings and awarenesses. The archdiocese has created a set of directives toward practical matters that we are working toward implementing. But when we move beyond questions and fear becomes our only motive, we enter into tempting grounds that can be confusing at best. So confusing that we may be misguided by our own thoughts to even question the Grace of God…
Holy Communion is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. It is God. Trust in the truth that God loves us, provides for us, and cares for us — we recognize that the reception of Holy Communion is not an experience bound by this world, which offers us good and bad. The experience of receiving Holy Communion is an eternal experience that is only Good. In His perfect Love for us, God offers us no harm. Union with God is only good.
Even practical experience tells us that no bad can come to us through the Eucharist — following every Divine Liturgy, the clergy consume all of the Holy Communion that remains in the chalice. If diseases were able to be transmitted through Holy Communion, every priest would be constantly sick or dying after consuming the chalice following the administering of the Sacrament to all the faithful… even the really sick ones.
This is not a view only promoted by priests, those from the medical profession have also expressed their trust in the Lord’s Goodness and safety found in receiving Holy Communion. You can read one account from an Infectious Disease Doctor here.
May the healing experience of our Lord bring calm, hope and the health of both soul and body to all being impacted directly or indirectly by Coronavirus this season.