Pope John Paul II describing the belief that Sunday Mass is at the heart of the Eucharist’s “effectiveness in promoting communion.” One wonders how much his own experience as a priest and bishop informed the strength of his own experience of this.
41. The Eucharist’s particular effectiveness in promoting communion is one of the reasons for the importance of Sunday Mass. I have already dwelt on this and on the other reasons which make Sunday Mass fundamental for the life of the Church and of individual believers in my Apostolic Letter on the sanctification of Sunday Dies Domini. (Cf. Nos. 31-51) There I recalled that the faithful have the obligation to attend Mass, unless they are seriously impeded, and that Pastors have the corresponding duty to see that it is practical and possible for all to fulfil this precept. (Cf. Nos. 48-49) More recently, in my Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, in setting forth the pastoral path which the Church must take at the beginning of the third millennium, I drew particular attention to the Sunday Eucharist, emphasizing its effectiveness for building communion. “It is” – I wrote – “the privileged place where communion is ceaselessly proclaimed and nurtured. Precisely through sharing in the Eucharist, the Lord’s Day also becomes the Day of the Church, when she can effectively exercise her role as the sacrament of unity”. (No. 36)
Unity within the Catholic community: do we attend to this very important need, or are we focused too much on who shouldn’t receive the sacrament?