Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
“And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him.” The story of the two followers of Jesus walking the road to Emmaus, distressed at the Passion and uncertain about the news of the Resurrection, is familiar. The two disciples are very much a reflection of each Christian believer. We all pass through moments when our faith is shaken, or when we feel abandoned or confused. Conventional wisdom in such moments is to do exactly what the disciples did: take a walk. The walk is meant to clear our heads. Of course, our Lord uses the walk in a very different way. He approaches the disciples, engages them in conversation, and now that their minds are empty and open, he fills that space with the truth of His identity, expanding their understanding of the law, the prophets, and the whole of Scripture. With that new awareness, they are able to recognize Him more perfectly when they sit at table with Him. In the breaking of bread, that is, in the Eucharist, they come to see Jesus fully.
The Church in the United States is in a period of Eucharistic Revival (www.eucharisticrevival.org). It is a call to all Catholics to come to a deeper appreciation for how Christ reveals Himself to us in the Eucharist, to see Him more perfectly in the breaking of the bread. In every Mass, Jesus gives Himself to us in the Eucharist. The act of receiving Holy Communion is a profound spiritual moment in which God comes to us, feeds us, and invites us into deeper union with Him. The act of receiving Holy Communion is also a public witness that says, “I believe what the Catholic Church teaches,” “I am united in communion of faith and spirit with this community of believers.” Such a moment must be treated with profound reverence. And so, the way we receive, the disposition of our heart, our body language, all contribute to our reverence for the Eucharist. The whole Mass is a time when we can be more aware of the presence of Jesus with us, as He comes to us in the Word proclaimed, in the assembly gathered, and of course, in the gift of the Eucharist offered in sacrifice for the world.
The presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is not limited to the Mass, of course. He is both present through the sacrifice of the Mass and remains present in the Tabernacle. The Eucharistic presence of Jesus endures! This is why we genuflect whenever we pass in front of the Tabernacle, reverencing the presence of Jesus. This is why the practice of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is so important. When we come to Adoration, we are invited to look upon our Eucharistic Lord, to spend time with Him, to recognize Him. Eucharistic Adoration allows us to empty our minds and hearts of the distractions of the world and open our minds and hearts to the things that Jesus wants to teach. We have Eucharistic Adoration every Wednesday evening from 7 – 8 PM in the Church. We will have Adoration on the First Friday of the month of May, Friday May 5, from 9 AM – 9 PM. And of course, we are looking for volunteers to spend time with Jesus in the Eucharist as we prepare to start Perpetual Adoration. If you would like to be part of this important effort, please sign up for an hour at www.st-pius.org/adore365.