The Eucharist and My Imperfection

Does the Eucharist feel approachable? Do you believe that the Eucharist is personal? Sometimes, it can seem unclear how we are meant to interact and approach the Eucharist. How “put together” do I need to be in order to participate in Communion? Fr. Josh Johnson takes on these questions and offers encouragement for how we can make the Eucharist more central in our lives.

Snippet from the Show
The point of Mass is not to receive the Eucharist. The purpose of Mass is to worship God.


Glory Story (2:49)
Listener Question (5:20)

Fr. Josh, I understand that we need to approach the Lord with reverence but the Lord in the Eucharist provides a personal and intimate relationship. Oftentimes, we can be messy, simple, blunt, confused. Do we have to wait until we have it all together to approach the Lord? Obviously, we need to be free from Mortal Sin before we receive the Lord, but do we wait to approach him until we are perfect?

Saint Story: St. Mark Ji Tianxiang (18:22)

St. Mark Ji Tianxian lived in 19th century China and was raised in a Christian household. He was a leader in his community and treated everyone with love and respect. As a doctor, he even treated the poor for free. 

However, St. Mark Ji Tianxiang developed an ailment that he chose to treat with opium not realizing its addictive properties. St. Mark Ji Tianxiang became addicted. He went to confession again and again to confess his sin. Eventually, the priest denied him the sacrament because the priest believed that St. Mark Ji Tianxiang was not truly sorry for his sin. Instead of leaving the Church in anger, St. Mark Ji Tianxiang continued to be faithful. He prayed and went to Mass but never received the sacraments for the remainder of his life.

One of his prayers was that he would get to be a martyr. In 1900, the Boxer Rebellion broke out. St. Mark Ji Tianxiang was rounded up with other members of his family because they were Christian. When it came time for their execution, he requested that he be killed last so that none of his family would have to die alone. As his son, six of his grandchildren, and two of his daughters-in-law were beheaded, he stood by them. FInally, he himself was executed.

Although he was an addict and although he was not able to receive the sacraments for many years, St. Mark Ji Tianxiang was canonized a saint.


Meet Fr. Josh Johnson

While Fr. Josh was raised Catholic, he didn’t like the Church growing up. Then, one day in adoration, he fell in love with Jesus and received the call to become a priest.

Now, Fr. Josh is the Vocations Director of the Diocese of Baton Rouge in Louisiana. He is a presenter in four of Ascension’s programs: Altaration, YOU: Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body, The 99, and Connected: Catholic Social Teaching for This Generation, as well as the author of Broken and Blessed: An Invitation to My Generation, Pocket Guide to Adoration, and co-author of Pocket Guide to Reconciliation.

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