Monday, April 7, 2014

Gluten Intolerance and Receiving Holy Communion

By M. J. Joachim

The more I thought about it, the more I realized how much I truly believe in the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist. For months now, I’ve deprived myself of receiving the Body of Christ, while taking His blood when it’s been offered, because I’m gluten intolerant. For the past few weeks, something about my reasoning has been nagging at me.

If I truly have faith, which I do, that this is indeed the Body of Christ, then I know in my heart of hearts, He would never hurt me. This is the God who healed people, raised them from the dead, died for them and offers them eternal joy in heaven – everlasting life. How can I snub Him like this with my lack of faith, based on human limitations?

The story of Peter walking on water came to mind, how he so easily started walking to Jesus, only to sink and be rescued during the storm. Jesus also reprimanded Peter for his lack of faith in that story.

So this past weekend, I held out my hands and received the Body of Christ. I put my actions where my faith is, and consumed the bread offered at Holy Communion. You know what? It didn’t hurt me. In fact, it was one of the best things I’ve ever done.

I overcame my own self-doubts and fears, and accepted Jesus both spiritually and physically into my body and soul. There were no ill effects from doing so, and my heart praised God in His goodness.

Would I risk eating a piece of garlic bread, slice of pizza or bowl of cereal? No, not at all. I’ve experienced the cramps and sickness associated with eating gluten by accident, and I know all too well, it’s just not worth it. This is different, however. It’s about faith and belief in a God who loves me. It’s about knowing God and the spiritual world are so much bigger than our own physical limitations. It’s about not snubbing God, because I know He would never hurt me.

Thank you for visiting and commenting on Being Catholic today. It’s always a pleasure when you stop by.

M. J.

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Photo credit: Wilfredor, Receiving the Body of Christ, Creative Commons CCO 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication