So many times we struggle with whether or not we should attend Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning. I’ve heard so many explanations in the past thirty years about why people don’t need to be in Church to pray and experience God. The Gospel offers us a different answer with the story of the raising of the widow’s son in Nain. (Luke 7.11-17) In this story it was the physical touch of Christ, along with His command, that healed the young man. He touched the open coffin when He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” (Luke 7.14)
St Cyril of Alexandria said, “Why then did He not work the miracle by only a word but also touched the bier? It was, my beloved, that you might learn that the holy Body of Christ is productive for the salvation of man. The flesh of the Almighty Word is the body of life and was clothed with might.” Don’t you see? God could have called out from heaven and healed not only this young man, but all humanity. But He didn’t. He came and lived among us – in a real body, touching and blessing us.
It is true that God is present everywhere and fills all things through the power of the Holy Spirit. You don’t need to be inside the Church to experience the Holy Spirit. It is Christ Who is physically present in Holy Communion INSIDE the Church. He is always present on the Holy Altar for us to be in His presence.
THIS is why our soul desires to attend Divine Liturgy. Christ commanded that His Body and Blood be offered in the Eucharist, as life for the salvation of the world. We can’t receive Holy Communion on the golf course. If we can’t receive Holy Communion, then we cannot touch Christ. And the touch of Christ is life and heals all.
The Holy Apostles knew that Holy Communion was our lifesource. They heard Christ say, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” (John 6.53) The Holy Apostles commanded us to receive Holy Communion every Sunday. Remember….without Holy Communion we are dead inside.
In each Divine Liturgy Christ can bring us back to life as He did the widow’s son in Nain. The Gospel today shows us the compassion of Christ. He doesn’t want us to remain dead. He wants us to be alive. That should be reason enough to be prepared to receive Holy Communion every Sunday.