Let Us Return to the Lord

Post Date: June 1, 2021
Author: Sacred Heart Blog

Brothers and Sisters,

What a joyful transition to make on Pentecost Sunday to return to 100% capacity in our churches and to reopen our ministries at our church and school! As priests, we have enjoyed seeing the larger numbers of parishioners returning to Mass IN PERSON with their desire also to celebrate the Sacrament of Confession. This is a healthy reminder for all of us to take care of our spiritual needs and, with this in mind, I invite all who attend Mass virtually to make plans to return in this month of June.

As we know, it is imperative that we receive Holy Communion to have the life of Jesus within us and to access the spiritual fruits given through his REAL PRESENCE – forgiveness of venial sins, strengthening of unity in the Church, imparting the grace of conversion and protecting us from the temptations of the Evil One – to name a few. For many Catholics, we have not received Holy Communion since the pandemic began. Let us make this our priority for the summer months: to attend Mass in person, to return to the Sacrament of Confession, and to receive Holy Communion.

We will continue to live stream our Masses especially for our homebound parishioners to worship with us. However, as priests and deacons, we would like to visit and bring Holy Communion to those who are ill and homebound. During your illness, Jesus wants to strengthen you through His Real Presence in Holy Communion.

Occasionally we receive questions that arise due to this pandemic and especially concerning our virtual transmission of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Recently we answered those regarding when we will again have Holy Water at our doors and in our baptismal fonts – we do not have a set date. Our archbishop, Cardinal DiNardo will inform us when it is safe to do so.

Another question raised was: can we put out bread in our homes and have it consecrated virtually by the priest as he celebrates Mass in Church so that we can receive Jesus in Holy Communion at home? Will the bread we have on the table at home be consecrated and become the Body of Christ? The answer to this is no. No bread at home is consecrated during the virtual transmission of the Mass. While it is presumably a great desire in the heart to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, it is incorrect to put out bread at home and pretend to receive Holy Communion. Bread at home is always just bread.

It has been a trying and difficult year navigating the pandemic and so again I invite us to return now to Mass in Person and to the regular reception of our Lord in Holy Communion.

Special blessings to our children and youth who made their First Holy Communion and thanks to their parents and catechists for preparing them.

In Christ,

Fr. Philip Wilhite, Pastor

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