From a reader:
But I can’t post to your forum. I am an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist for my parish, serving the homebound. I receive communion at mass, then take the Eucharist to those who are sick. Sometimes they cannot receive, so I am left with the Host, and the church is often locked preventing my returning the Host to the tabernacle. Is it licit to consume the Host? This being a second reception in a day, outside of the Eucharistic Celebration. If not, what do I do with the Host?
Actually, you are not an "extraordinary minister of the Eucharist". You are an "extraordinary minister of Communion" (EMC).
What you are describing is, in effect, self-communication.
This is a good question, since I imagine this happens to EMCs with some frequency.
Your diocese may have specific directions for EMC’s in these situations. Ask your parish priest.
In the absence of clear direction from the diocese, my strong suggestion is that you return immediately with the Host to the parish and leave the pyx for the parish priest or give it to him directly. If you can’t reach your priest (you should have contact information!), perhaps there is another parish where, after some contact in advance, you can get some help.
Don’t simply go home with the pyx and Host or run errands. First things first. I would say if you are truly in a bind (no priest anywhere, no access to a proper place to leave the Host, no options), then consume It.
It may be that the diocese will have a policy that, in these situations, you are simply to consume the Host.
Follow their policy if you cannot do this in the better way, that is, return to the parish with the Host and give It to the priest to care of.
It is true that pastors, parish priests, are pretty busy, especially if they are alone. Yet the Code of Canon Law describes as one of the main duties of the parish priest to care for the Blessed Sacrament. I think this falls under that canon. He ought to make it sufficiently easy for you to deal with something that is beyond your ordinary role.