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        Christ had announced the necessity of eating His Body and Blood to have eternal life.  Everybody found it difficult to understand.  That was common to all.  But one group finding it difficult to understand left Him.  The reason was clear: they did not understand.  When you do something you do not understand, it becomes difficult if not impossible.  The other group made up of His disciples also did not understand but stayed.  And, as a consequence, they began to understand. 

        What was wrong with those who left?  Their hearts were of the world.  In their hearts they had this natural inclination to be independent of God's Will and commands, as Adam's and Eve's hearts were.  They would not bear the little inconvenience necessary to be saved.  They were just really waiting for a reason, good or bad, to abandon the service of God.     

        The other group, His disciples, was willing to wait patiently to understand and, indeed, Christ explained it to them and they understood.

        Christ emphasized that we have to eat His Body and drink His Blood to have eternal life -- that His Body and Blood are truly His Body and Blood. . . and these would be the soul's source of Life.  For when This Food is assimilated by the person, Christ is assimilated, sort of, into the person receiving Holy Communion.

        But St. Paul immediately adds that it is possible to eat the Body and Blood of Christ unto our condemnation.  A seeming contradiction.

        Who are those who eat and drink the Body and Blood of Christ unto their salvation?  Those who have obeyed the commands of Christ or are in the process of obeying the commands of Christ.  In Holy Communion, they eat the Body and Blood of Christ:  the presence of Christ is slowly assimilated into their beings and become the source of Divine Life within them, assuring their salvation. 

        And who are those who eat and drink the Body and Blood of Christ unto their condemnation?  Those who have no desire to know the commands of Christ, or who even outright disobey the commands of Christ.  When they receive Holy Communion they go through motions of putting the host in their mouth and eat it but they do not eat the Body and Blood of Christ.  It is because they do not eat that they take Holy Communion unto their condemnation. . .since to eat is the condition for eternal life.

        This explains the practice in the early church that those who are still studying the commands of Christ were asked to leave after the homily, just before the offertory.  They might find some commands difficult and leave Christ.  They should leave before they receive Holy Communion lest they receive It to their condemnation. 

        The desire to change our lives, to follow Christ, to know His commands and obey His commands remove the danger of receiving Holy Communion unto our condemnation.  But, if upon knowing the commands of Christ, we find it difficult and, as a result, leave Him, we are not eating His Body, no matter how many times we receive Holy Communion .






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