July 27, 2007

A monastery visitor has asked me, “Did Judas the Betrayer receive the Holy Eucharist?”

The Scriptures do not make clear that Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Christ, was still present at the Last Supper when Christ gave the apostles his Eucharistic BODY.

However, the Scriptures definitely show that Judas did NOT receive the Eucharistic BLOOD of Christ.

Both St. Luke’s Gospel and St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians (11:23-24) spell out that Christ gave his Eucharistic Body to his apostles at some point DURING his Last Supper. However, they also spell out that he gave them his Eucharistic Blood AFTER the supper was ended. The words of consecration at Mass recall that Christ gave his Eucharistic Blood to the apostles “when supper was ENDED.”


THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

At some point DURING the supper, Christ washed the feet of his apostles.

Also at some point during the supper, but AFTER the foot-washing, and BEFORE THE END of the supper, Judas left.

After Judas left, the supper continued at length.
John’s Gospel does not say at what point of the supper Christ gave his Eucharistic Body. It might have happened AFTER Judas left.


THE GOSPELS OF MATTHEW, MARK, AND LUKE

These Gospels do not spell out precisely when Judas left the supper. It could have been before Christ gave his Eucharistic Body, and, if that were the case, then Judas did not receive the Eucharistic Body.

Leaving before the supper was ended so he could meet those who would arrest Christ, Judas could not have received the Eucharistic Blood. Notably, then, Judas was not included in receiving the Eucharistic Blood that Christ says is given “so that sins may be forgiven.”


IN SUMMARY

The Scriptures do not clarify whether Judas was present or absent when Christ gave his Eucharistic Body.

However, it is clear from the Scriptures that Judas was ABSENT when Christ gave his Eucharistic Blood after the end of the supper.

Christ waited until Judas had left, and then gave the other apostles his Eucharistic Blood -- thus excluding Judas from receiving the Eucharistic Blood. We are free to suspect that Christ intended to exclude Judas from the Eucharist -- both the Body and the Blood.


July 22, 2007

The Sixteenth Ordinary Sunday of the Church Year

I have posted a homily for this day.
Click HERE for it.

Why do I have several posts about the Communion policy of the Catholic Church?

A few non-Catholics have asked me about the policy. Respecting their sincere desire to know, I have sought to give them a comprehensive response. Here is the final post I intend to supply in that regard.
GUIDELINES FOR THE RECEPTION OF COMMUNION
From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

The statement has four short sections.

1. For Catholics
2. For Our Fellow Christians
3. For Those Not Receiving Holy Communion
4. For Non-Christians
Click HERE for it.