The Hidden Depths of the Mass #36

Why Can’t Non-Catholics Receive Communion?

To understand this practice, we must understand what it means to receive Communion.  It is not just bread.  It is truly Jesus we receive.  We call it “Communion” because we believe that receiving it means that we are in Communion with what our Catholic faith teaches.  If we are not, why would we want to receive it?

We find the biblical basis for this practice in Exodus 12 as God prescribes the instructions for the Passover.  In Exodus 12:43 we read, “The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: This is the Passover statute. No foreigner may eat of it.”  Here “foreigner” does not refer to people from other countries but to non-Jews.  It is the Lord himself who said this.  He did not say they could never eat it.  If they wanted to participate in the Passover, they needed to become Jews first.  We merely ask the same as the Lord.

(The previous articles in this series are available online at

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