Fr. Petros: “Why is it that during Communion the congregation only receives the consecrated host (body) and not the consecrated wine (blood)? The Priest partakes of both! He consumes the body, then drinks the blood, ALONE! Jesus said, “Take and eat and do this in remembrance of me” And He said, “Take and drink and do this in remembrance of me” – Luke 22:14-20. Priests are selfish I suppose, please help.” – (Grace: Catholic University – MALAWI).
Dear Grace, once the words of Consecration have been spoken by the priest (‘this is My Body’ and ‘this is My Blood’) we believe that the bread and wine are really, truly and substantially changed into the Body, Blood, Soul & Divinity of Christ. Therefore, after the Consecration, it may LOOK, TASTE, SMELL, and FEEL like bread and wine but it IS no longer bread and it IS no longer wine. The congregation never receives bread and never receives wine. They are given and they receive the REAL Body and Blood of Christ.
When you separate body from blood, you have death. People die when their blood is removed from their body; we call it bleeding to death. There is a SEPARATE consecration of the bread and a separate consecration of the wine to sacramentally re-enact the separation of Jesus’ Body and Blood the day He died on the Cross on Calvary on Good Friday – Mt 27:32-56. Yet, He rose from the dead on Easter Sunday. He did not stay dead – Luke 24:1-53. His body and blood were REUNITED, otherwise, He would still be dead.
THE COUNCIL OF TRENT
The Council of Trent, session XIII, chp III said: “In either sacred species are BOTH the Body and the Blood of Christ since HE IS RISEN. He is not still dead (separation of body and blood – CCC 997) but He is ALIVE (union of body and blood).” So, when ONE HOST is placed in the Monstrance on the Altar for Benediction OR when the communicant is only given a consecrated Host and not give a chalice of consecrated wine, they are NOT getting HALF of Communion. One Host is not 50% of Jesus and neither is the chalice of Precious Blood 50%. Both are 100% of Christ. Only the Priest MUST consume both by canon law and theological doctrine since He offered the sacrifice, he must complete the immolation.
INTINCTION IS ALLOWED
A priest SOMETIMES may offer both by INTINCTION where the consecrated Bread is dipped into the consecrated Wine, but often they give only ONE. Yet in ONE is BOTH. We receive the Body and Blood of the risen, alive Christ, NOT the flesh and blood of a dead Christ.
At Communion, we receive the RISEN Christ which means in EITHER the Consecrated Host OR in the Chalice of Consecrated wine you have BOTH the Precious Body and Blood. They cannot be separated. In ONE HOST is the WHOLE Christ, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. Grace, priests are not selfish!
Subcommittee on the Third Millennium, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, A Book of Readings on the Eucharist: A Eucharistic Jubilee (Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference, 2000).
Theological-Historical Commission for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, The Eucharist, Gift of Divine Life (New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1999)