The Eucharist is not itself the sacrament of reconciliation, but in fact it presupposes that sacrament. It is the sacrament of the reconciled, to which the Lord invites all those who have come with him; who certainly still remain weak sinners, but yet have given their hand to him and have become part of his family. That is why, from the beginning, the Eucharist has been preceded by a discernment. We have just heard this, in very dramatic form, from Paul: “Whoever eats unworthily, eats and drinks judgement on himself, because he does not distinguish the Body of the Lord” (1 Cor 11:27). The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, one of the oldest writings outside the New Testament, from the beginning of the second century, takes up this apostolic tradition and has the priest, just before distributing the Sacrament, saying: “Whoever is holy, let him approach–whoever is not, let him do penance!” ~Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, God Is Near Us