The Hidden Depths of the Mass #35

Mortal Sin and Receiving Communion

Why does the Catholic Church say that those who are in a state of mortal sin are not to receive Communion?  This is rooted in the Bible.  In 1 Corinthians 11:27-29, Paul speaks of unworthy reception of the Body and Blood of Jesus.   Indeed, the Eucharist does offer us God’s mercy for healing.  However, in John 5:17 we read, ‘All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly.”  Venial (lesser) sins are healed at Mass if we come repentant for those sins.  As the “medicine of mercy,” the Eucharist then strengthens us to resist mortal sin and to so better.  Mortal sin is also called deadly, meaning it breaks our relationship with God.  We need to confess our sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation to allow God to restore what we have broken. 

(The previous articles in this series are available online at

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