I know that people have very strong feelings about whether they should receive our Lord in the Eucharist in the hand or on the tongue. Personally, I feel that both ways can be done very reverently. An image that makes me appreciate reception in the hand more than I previously did is to remind myself that I am a beggar before God (a metaphor used by St. Augustine, although not in the context of receiving the Eucharist; see Sermon 61, section 8). As a beggar holds out his hands pleading for compassion and material sustenance, so too we come to our Lord seeking mercy and spiritual sustenance. Unlike the beggar, who is my equal, I am not God's equal. And yet, He gives me the audacity to hold out my hand to Him, asking for the Bread of Life.
How we receive Christ in the Eucharist, both externally and internally, matters a great deal. Our challenge as individuals is to choose the option that allows us to show the most reverence and love for Christ.
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