In Bethlehem was born the One who, under the sign of broken bread, would leave us the memorial of his Pasch. On this Holy Night [Christmas], adoration of the Child Jesus becomes Eucharistic adoration. We adore you, Lord, truly present in the Sacrament of the Altar, the living Bread which gives life to humanity. We acknowledge you as our one God, a little Child lying helpless in the manger!
St. John Paul II
In 1978, the late St. John Paul II urged all parishes throughout the world to institute Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. Five years later, he reminded all Catholics in his encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, that the Eucharist is the greatest gift Jesus left His Church.
As Catholics, we believe that JESUS is really, truly and substantially present in the Eucharist – just as when He walked on this earth. He is present in our tabernacles. He is present in our Adoration Chapels and He is present in the Sacred Host when it is placed on our tongue. There could be no more appropriate time then today to reflect on the significance of the Eucharist and our response to this great gift.
Have you ever loved someone so much that you could hardly wait to hear from them, to speak with them and to see them – only to have that person not love you in return? How often have you looked forward to a visit from a close friend or family member only to have that person spend little or no time talking to you? I dare say all of us sometime in our lifetimes have had such experiences. How hurt we felt when we were ignored and not loved in return.
Imagine How God – WHO IS LOVE – WHO LOVES US MORE THAN WORDS CAN DESCRIBE – feels when we fail to demonstrate our love for Him? He waits here hour after hour, day after day, 168 hours a week, just to hear our voices and to see our faces.
Come. Visit Him. Speak to Him! He especially wants us to spend time in His Presence when we are hurting, dealing with pain and suffering, fear and anxiety
Too often we try to deal with these problems alone. We forget that Jesus told us:
COME AND BRING YOUR BURDENS TO ME AND I WILL REFRESH YOU
So this weekend would you prayerfully consider doing the following: resolve to spend more time before Mass and after receiving Communion talking to Jesus; make a visit before the Blessed Sacrament sometime between now and next Sunday; ask Jesus to increase your belief and reverence in and for His Real Presence; and consider committing to an hour of Adoration each week.
Life, long or short, is a journey towards Paradise; there is our fatherland, there is our real home; there is our appointment!
Jesus is waiting for us in Paradise! Never forget this supreme and consoling truth.
(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)
And what is Holy Communion but an anticipation of Paradise? In fact, in the Eucharist it is Jesus Himself Who is waiting for us and Whom we will meet one day openly in Heaven.
Receive Jesus often in order never to forget Paradise, be always on the march towards the house of the Heavenly Father, to enjoy Paradise a little already!
St. John Paul II, Corpus Christi, June 14, 1979