Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sailing the Pharisees

From Fr. Jurkus's "From the Pastor’s Desk" column in our parish bulletin for this Sunday.
"Once in a while I notice that someone does exaggerate gestures of reverence. For example, the bishops have said that a slight head bow is the appropriate sign of reverence when receiving communion. Some seem to insist on a very low bow. Even though the accepted custom in the USA is to stand for Communion, occasionally someone will insist on kneeling to receive. It is clear in the Scriptural account of the Last Supper that Jesus said 'Take and eat.' The prevailing custom in the USA is to receive Communion in the hand so we can really 'take and eat.' While it is not wrong to receive on the tongue, I must admit I wonder why some want to do this. Upon reflection, I thought that all these gestures might be an expression of deep piety and devotion. However, on further reflection I wonder if it is really an expression of pride. I wonder if those who do these exaggerated gestures (not keeping with the local community’s customs) might be saying they are really 'holier than thou.' We know what Jesus said about that kind of attitude. I offer this for your reflection."

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