by Deacon Randall Waguespak

Don’t take for granted the graces that Christ makes available to us  through worthy reception of the Eucharist. It is the Bread of Life necessary to strengthen us on our journey to heaven; but for these graces to be received we must prepare ourselves. The Church has consistently taught that when a person receives Holy Communion while in a state of mortal sin, they do not receive the grace that the Sacrament conveys. Even worse, when we receive Communion in a state of mortal sin we also commit the sin of sacrilege by failing to show the reverence due to the sacred Body and Blood of Christ that he deserves. Since the early Church, St. Paul has warned us that whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine themselves  before eating the bread and drinking the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. 1 Cor 11:27-29
But remember, we must always trust in Christ’s mercy, the mercy that we behold in his body broken for us and in his blood poured out for us for the forgiveness of our sins. Before we receive Holy Communion, we should make a good examination of conscience to ensure that we are properly disposed to receive the Lord. If we find that we have broken communion with Christ and his Church, we should not receive the Eucharist. However, we should not despair since the Lord in his mercy has given us a remedy. He loves us and deeply desires to forgive us and to restore our communion with him through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We can’t be afraid of going to Confession. When we bring our sins to Jesus, we give him the joy of being Our Savior. After we are free of our sins, and we return to receiving the Eucharist, one of the primary graces we receive is strength to resist future sin.
Even if we are free of mortal sin, we must always approach the Lord with humble and contrite hearts and to say with sincerity: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”  In this way we acknowledge our weakness and place ourselves before God’s mercy prior to receiving his Body and Blood.
Because of our human weakness, we will always struggle with sin and on our own we are helpless. Sin will never be overcome by our own willpower. Our pride wants us to believe that we can overcome sin on our own but Christ knew we needed him to make it heaven.  That is why he gave us the Sacraments. The Sacrament of Reconciliation so our sins can be forgiven when we really mess up and the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist so we can be strengthened to avoid future sins.  Our prayer before the Lord should always be one of humility.  “Lord, I am weak, and I need a Savior.  Without you I can do nothing.”