John asked:

When you go up for communion you can choose to receive the host or from the chalice? Can you decide which one you want to receive? Could I go straight up to the chalice and receive and then return to my pew?

Patrick Madrid replied:

"You can receive under both kinds or you can receive under one kind or the other ... When you receive even the smallest sip of the precious blood you receive all of Jesus – body, blood, soul, divinity, really truly sacramentally, substantially present under the appearance of wine. So the fullness of Christ in every respect is present ... All of Jesus in the ways I just described are contained fully in even the smallest particle of the host. When we receive under one kind or the other there is no ... diminution, lack or reducing of what you receive of Jesus. In the same way too, when you receive under both kinds it is a way perhaps of more fully expressing the symbolism of what you’re doing. You’re eating the flesh of the Lord, you’re drinking his blood. This is using the language that he himself used in John chapter 6.

When I say that this is more fully an expression of the symbolism, I don’t mean to suggest that the eucharist is merely a symbol. But it is a symbol. As we know as Catholics, sacraments are outward signs instituted by Christ that give grace. So it is a reality to be sure, but it’s also a symbol of the reality. So it symbolizes what it actually does. When we receive holy communion under both kinds, we are in a certain sense expressing bodily the greater fullness of that sign."

Source material:

John 6
52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”[d] 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; 54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.” 59 This he said in the synagogue, as he taught at Caper′na-um.


Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

© 2013 Immaculate Heart Catholic Radio

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Show air date: September 12, 2013

Question appeared in show: 12:29

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