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The Spiritual Means, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

29- The Importance of Holy Communion and its Benefits

  

Holy Communion is one of the divine sacraments, and the most important among the spiritual means. Its spiritual effect on man is the deepest and the most obvious for those who partake of it in preparedness.

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1- The first important point for Holy Communion is abiding in God.

This is according to the Lords saying in the Gospel of St John: He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him (Jn 6:56).

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2- Holy Communion is also the Spiritual Bread.

The Lord said in St Johns Gospel: For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world... I am the bread of life... If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever... The bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world (Jn 6:33,48,50,51). Therefore, consider the word bread in the Lords Prayer: ...give us this day our daily bread, as the spiritual bread which is necessary for ones eternity. As the Lord said: Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day (Jn 6:54)... He who eats this bread will live forever (Jn 6:58).

It is the bread of life because it gives spiritual life to man.

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St-Takla.org Image: The Abrosvarin, Aprosvarein at St. Takla Church صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: صورة الأبروسفارين، ابروسفارين، في كنيسة الأنبا تكلا

St-Takla.org Image: The Abrosvarin, Aprosvarein at St. Takla Church

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: صورة الأبروسفارين، ابروسفارين، في كنيسة الأنبا تكلا

3- This Holy Communion is an act of grafting, as with the trees.

As it is possible to graft a specific tree with another better tree, so that it remains in its stead, our human nature-in the Eucharist- is an act of grafting which happens through the Lords Body and Blood..

The Lord gave us an example for the act of grafting, with the church of the New Testament (the wild olive tree) that was grafted with the original olive tree, that is, the Old Testament and became: A partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree (Rom 11:17), as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections..

Like the branches of the vine (Jn 15:5), we abide in the vine through Holy Communion and the juice of the vine spreads through us; some feed on it and live, and bear much fruit..

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4- We also refer to the blessings of Holy Communion when we listen to the Holy Mass and the last confession where the Priest says:

...given for us, unto salvation and remission of sins and everlasting life for those who partake of it.

Who of us can do without this threefold blessing: salvation, remission of sins and everlasting life?! The remission that we are worthy of after repentance and confession is received in the Holy Communion, because: Without shedding of blood there is no remission (Heb 9:22), and the Eucharist is the continuity of the sacrifice of Christ whose Honoured Blood we receive in Holy Communion: and as St John the Apostle said about this Blood: It cleanses us from all sin (1 Jn 1:7).

And as it cleanses us from sin, it promises us everlasting life.

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5-Holy Communion is also a covenant with God.

We remember the Lords saying, which we repeat in every Holy Mass: For every time you eat of this bread and drink of this cup, you preach My death, confess My resurrection and remember Me until I come (1Cor 11:26). So do we, every time we partake of Holy Communion, enter into a covenant with God and remember Him until He comes?!

Would that you remember each time you partake of the Holy Communion that you are entering into a covenant with God, this special covenant between God and us, which He instigated on Holy Thursday, this divine sacrament to His saintly Disciples...


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