As you know we are in the first year of the National Eucharistic Revival – beginning with the Diocese. Many are asking: “What does this look like?” and “What should we do?” and “Aside from attending Mass regularly what does it mean to be ‘more Eucharistic’?” and “Can you just tell me more about what this might look like?” … That is not an exhaustive list of questions, nor is it a series of quotes from others, but I know it’s questions I’ve been asking myself.
I’m sure you’ve heard about the Bishop’s approving a plan for a three-year National Eucharistic Revival by now (read more here). A need for a deeper reflection and acceptance of The Real Presence has been needed for quite some time. Surveys show that even the most committed Catholics (those who attend Mass each week) do not all believe that Jesus is really, truly present in the Eucharist at Mass.
thought about my reply to that question and issue (not a unique one) I came up with the following idea: Six Week’s on the Eucharist (or fill in the topic of your choice).
“We need to get ‘Back to Basics!'” I see this often in the open-ended comments of the surveys I conduct with parishes. Many of the respondents indicate that either they or people around them need to have a better understanding of the basic building blocks of the faith. Why do we do the things we do at Mass? What do we believe about Jesus Christ as the Son of God? Where does Mary fit? Well, I’m assuming that’s what they typically mean because they don’t quite explain themselves entirely in the comment box. Honestly “Back to Basics” seems similar to saying, “We need to communicate better.” ‘When parishes tell me that I say, “Define ‘communicate’ and define ‘better.'” I’m going to define “basics” even more simply than that though, so let’s get to it.
I can’t remember when I learned that the bread and wine actually became the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. I don’t know if there’s been a time when I haven’t believed that, to be honest. That could be because I grew up in a parish school that focused on teaching us the importance of the Mass and provided regular Eucharistic Adoration. It was a teaching that “stuck” for me.
I had my first experience of Eucharistic Adoration when I was in Catholic elementary school. Our associate priest began an all-day Friday adoration program after the 8:30am Mass that we attended as a school. It began a life-long love for this type of prayer: just sitting with Jesus where He looks at me and I look at Him. We need more of this in our world!!