We are living in a time when many Catholics seem to be eager to exclude their fellow Catholics from access to the sacraments due to the imperfection of their grasp of doctrine, their moral life, or even their aesthetics.
Here in my country, for instance, there is a big push to kick out Catholics for perceived wrong views on such matters as abortion or gay marriage, or for support for things like Black Lives Matter.
We are told by some that merely voting for a Democrat should result in excommunication.
A couple of years ago, some Amazonian Basin Catholics who went to Rome seeking better access to the sacraments were rewarded for their pious efforts by having some guy with close ties to an Austrian group founded by an ex-Nazi huck their little statue of Our Lady of Amazon in the Tiber. Apparently, failure to have the same aesthetics as a Euro-bigot made both them and the Holy Father guilty of “idolatry” (and therefore ineligible for the sacraments too).
The itch to turn sacraments into reducing valves for keeping out the Impure rather than seeing the gospel as an offer of the love of God to sinners and broken people seems to run deep these days.
But it was not always so.
Take the Centurion who came to Jesus seeking healing for his slave (Matthew 8:5-13).