Tag Archives: Christ

Eucharist : Communion or Discrimination??

Eucharist has been a controversial topic, specially in a multicultural and multi-religious continent like Asia. I wanted to bring out this topic because of a question raised by my non-catholic cousin and something that I learned from the theologate. This post is basically an anthropological view of the Eucharist.

The word “Eucharist” is derived from Greek, Eucharistia which means Thanksgiving. According to the explanation of the Church it is,

Following are some of the biblical quotations where Jesus refers to His Body and Blood and invites everyone to participate in the mystery of Eucharist to attain eternal salvation.

  • Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Mtt 26, 26 – 28)
  • I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”” (Jn 6, 51)

The FABC (Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference) gives a vision of a Renewed Church (FABC Papers No. 106) of 8 movements within the context of Asia, where we can help people encounter Christ. Like I said Asia is coloured with many religions and cultures. Therefore, Is preaching the Gospel and living a good Christian Life (being a self example) alone are enough for Evangelization?? In the Eucharist, we become one with Christ when we receive Him into our inner being. Christ invited everyone to partake of this great banquet. Did He specify that ONLY Catholics/ Christians are allowed??

I go to the Hindu and Buddhist temples in my country. In the Hindu temple they offer the devotees Prasad a food offering made to a god and then shared among the people, to both Hindus and non-Hindus. I’m not saying that the Eucharist is similar to the Prasad!

EucharistThe Eucharist IS the very Body of Christ, it IS Christ Himself! My cousin who’s a Hindu but is more inclined towards Christianity participates in the Sunday Mass. One day, out of the blue he asked me, “Why can’t I receive Communion?” So I told him that he doesn’t know the full mystery behind the Eucharist, it is the Body of Christ and you have to be baptized  and also should be in a worthy state to receive Christ. And I’m sure that it sounded like some kind of a Criminal offense for him. But realistically speaking, we preach of a Universal Salvation and when it comes to the Eucharist where we symbolize Fellowship, we limit it to the privileged baptized!

I’m not going against the Church’s view of the Sacramentality and preserving the sacredness of the Eucharist from profanity. But there are people of simple faith like my cousin who understand the meaning of the Eucharist and would like to experience the same oneness with Christ that we experience. At the end of the day we’re all human beings, no matter how much we know that God is with us all the time, we prefer to Touch Him, See Him and Taste Him. Imagine what would happen if the Church decided suddenly to stop giving Communion?? Or God rejected you for being dark or differently abled or even highly judgmental about everything??

On a personal anthropological level, I think we can Evangelize better if we understood the real concept of the Eucharist that Christ explained to us. This is something that has to be considered instead of arguing whether we should receive communion directly on hand or tongue. It would be more meaningful if we call everyone for a fellowship, a real communion without discriminating others with the sentence announced during the mass “Non-Christians are not allowed to receive Communion!” And I hope that they will dawn someday 🙂 Till then, Eucharist is only for the Baptized Christians!….

I am a “Catholic Christian”! :S

I’m sure many of us had to face questions like,

So what’s the point in transforming such a simple question into a Blog Post?? Well let me explain the beauty of this question and answer, then you’ll see how important it is to pay attention to the slightest details.

Generally when anyone used to ask me this question, I used to say, “I’m a Catholic, Roman Catholic“. (And if you think that it’s the James Bond tone, then you’re absolutely right :D) But then recently when a colleague in office asked me if I was a Catholic or a Christian, then I told her that I’m a Catholic….but then later on, it kept ticking in my mind. What’s the difference??

Well I don’t wanna get into the Hierarchical differences of the Catholic Church and the other Christian Churches. Well if you go down that lane, there’s clearly a difference, but that’s not my arena for this post. I’m trying to deal with the normal usage of the terms, based on the path of the literal meanings of the word.

The term Catholic, refers to Universal right? Okay, now that’s fine! Moving on to the next option given within the question, Christian, now that in simple terms, Follower of Christ. So now tell me, am I a Catholic or a Christian? Interesting eh? Unless we give some thought to the silliest questions of this sort, you don’t realize how meaningful and important the question could be. Or what impact you could create with your answer to the one who’s asking you.

Now let’s analyze the answer… If you’re a Catholic should you be a Christian? Not necessarily… (Please read above paragraph) Duh!! Of course you have to!

Okay, now the second part of the analysis… If you’re a Christian should you also be a Catholic? Hmm… now that’s a tricky one… Let me think..Naaah, you don’t HAVE to be Catholic as such if you’re willing to remain in the same well and not willing to reach out to check out the other stuff outside the well. But if you want to leap from Local to Universal, then you better think of being a Catholic. (Once again, I’m NOT talking of the Churches. I’m ONLY talking of the Terms!)

Now let me rephrase myself.

You : “Are you a Catholic or a Christian?

Me : “I’m a Catholic Christian!” 🙂

Oh boy, I hope I said it first! Oh and if you think you’re a Catholic Christian too… What are you waiting for?? Spread the word around…