The doctrine of Concomitance

Friends in the Lord, the gospel we’ve been reading these days, and tomorrow, is from the 6th chapter of St. John, and this is called the ‘Bread of life discourse.’ Our Lord is teaching about this miraculous ‘Bread’ that he will give. ‘This is the Bread that comes down from heaven, if anyone eats this Bread, he will live forever.’
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The Lord is of course speaking about the Holy Eucharist, and this is the way that he will remain with us as he promised. He teaches that this Bread is really his Flesh, it is he, himelf. But many of the Jews of those days could not accept this teaching. So too today, many other non-Catholic Christians cannot accept this teaching either, they are like the Jews of those days who reject what happens on our altars each day. ‘They quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?” Does Jesus respond by explaining to them that he only is speaking symbolically? No. He responds forcefully: ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you have no life in you.
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We continue to believe this teaching, given to us by Christ, and so today I thought we could consider the doctrine of Concomitance.  Concomitance means, that when we receive even one particle of the Sacred Host, or one drop of the Precious Blood, we are receiving the whole, living, resurrected Lord Jesus.
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Sometimes there is a person at our parish with celiac disease who is not able to receive the Host. A tiny sip of the Precious Blood, and that person receives the entire Living Lord: Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. In the Holy Scriptures Christ says you must ‘eat my Body and drink my Blood,’ but then later he says, ‘He who eats this Bread will live forever.’ This means that receiving only the Host or only the Precious Blood is the same as receiving all. Likewise, if we are running out of hosts due to an unexpected crowd, and we must break a Host into small pieces so that each person can receive a little, they certainly receive the whole, entire, living, resurrected Lord.
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Let us therefore stir up our Eucharistic faith.
That Christ has chosen to unite himself to us in this way, demonstrates his enormous love for us, and his promise to really be with us unto the end of the age.

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