From a reader…
Our priest simply announced “I have the flu ” and proceeded with his sermon. Only a few , like me, refrained from receiving Holy Communion. My wife received and several days later she and I had it also. Since we are in our seventies and I am undergoing cancer treatment and many others are vulnerable to this life threatening illness it seems to me he should refrain from distribution entirely rather than recklessly infect a trusting group. What say you ?
First, I am really sorry that you have cancer. If I had it my way, no one would have to suffer with cancer. We can blame Eve for that. Then blame Adam. I am also sorry that you are ill. Blame Eve. Etc.
You have no idea where you picked up that flu bug. No. Idea. At. All.
The priest is, however, a convenient target.
What is ironic in this is, had someone announced before Mass was scheduled to begin that Father was sick and he couldn’t make it, people would then grouse that he was coddling himself, that other people with real jobs can’t just take days off, that when parents get the flu, they still have to show up and be counted. Or, had Father come, sick or not, then all sorts of people who were themselves sick, would then want to talk to Father about A, B or C. They’d cough into their hands a few times and then want to shake Father’s hand after Mass, and even hang onto it for a while as they told him something. But then when Father didn’t show for Mass the week after, because he was sick, they tisk and say that he ought to take better care of himself.
I am just getting over a nasty case of something that took me three weeks and antibiotics to shake.
Everyone… if you see that Father is ill, and you are concerned about picking up what he has, then don’t go to Communion if you are worried that that’s how diseases are transmitted, and, please, leave him alone after Mass.
Also, people are not obliged to receive Communion. And yet so very many people today think that somehow, if they don’t go to Communion, they haven’t “been to Mass” or the haven’t “gotten anything”. Communion is reduced to something … well… that everyone does because… well… that’s what you do. You go forward, someone puts the white thing on your hand, and then you sing the song. Okay… go to Communion when Father is sick and “get something”.
I repeat. No one is obliged to go to Holy Communion. Make a spiritual Communion.
I hope you feel better very soon. Blessings.