As dioceses across the country are beginning to re-open our churches and return to the public celebration of the Eucharist, some people are wondering what will happen. Will people have gotten used to staying home on Sunday? Will they wake up to the fact that the Eucharist never really mattered that much to them, since they so quickly got used to not receiving it? Or will they wake up to the fact of how much they value the Eucharist, because, once deprived of the opportunity to participate, they found they developed a hunger for it more quickly than they expected?
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Editorial Note: This post is part of a series intended for Catholics who are unable to participate in public celebrations of the Eucharist because of restrictions around COVID-19. Through prayerful reflection on the proper texts of the Mass each Sunday, we may still receive the fruits of Eucharistic communion.
The degree to which Catholics love the Mass has never been more evident than in Catholic Twitter’s reaction to liturgical adjustments made because of the Coronavirus outbreak. The cancellation of the Eucharist in Rome has led many to wonder how the faithful can survive without regular celebration of the Mass in their presence, the reception of Holy Communion as a way of receiving grace in these trying times. Our longing to receive the Eucharist during this time, to hear the Holy Scriptures, and spend time with one another in Christian community is a sign that our identity as Catholics is closely tied to the Eucharist.