The Altar Rail, Part 2

The Altar Rail, Part 2

Continuing our consideration of the communion rail, let us recall Bartimaeus, the blind beggar outside of Jericho (Luke 18:35-43). As soon as he hears that Jesus is passing by, he cries out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stops and ministers to him; immediately healed, Bartimaeus followed Christ, glorifying God. When others saw this man who was once blind, they were moved to glorify God, too. When we kneel or stand at the Communion rail, we recognize that it is not just the priest passing by, but Christ. Our hearts cry out, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Christ stops, humbly present in the Sacred Host, and ministers to you by offering his very self. Immediately, we are healed from our venial sins and follow Christ, glorifying God. Practically, consider that those on your right and left are your brothers and sisters in Christ. This act of receiving Holy Communion is not an individual moment isolated from the community. Instead, we stand or kneel shoulder to shoulder with those who are on the same journey. Receiving together at the rail is a visible symbol of our strong community through Communion.

 

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