Last week in Part 1, I defined what adoration and Eucharistic adoration are. In addition, I shared a brief history about it, the purpose as to why Catholics adore Jesus in the Eucharist and how to pray during a holy hour. Now I would like to share with you the details on this important and upcoming parish event. On Wednesday, September 30th, through the leadership of our Director of Religious Education (D.R.E.), Karen Clor, our parish will offer Eucharistic Adoration. It will be a chance to rest with Jesus in silence. Jesus says, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while” (Mk. 6:31). Jesus also says in Mt. 11:28, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” All you need to do is show up with an open heart, a restful spirit and be prepared to sit with Jesus in the silence… something we all need at times to refresh our minds and souls. Who better to do it with than with our Divine Physician and King of Kings, Jesus Christ.
The evening will entail adoration of the Blessed Sacrament that will be available not just for our catechism students and their parents, but also for the whole parish. Since the theme of adoration will be Family Night, the focus will be on praying to Jesus for our families, which is timely because of Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. which will include a gathering for the World Meeting of Families on September 26th-27th in Philadelphia. Speaking of time, it starts at 6:00pm. I (Fr. Jeff) will give a brief, 5-10 minute presentation on what adoration is followed by Nancy Trudell, who will discuss the spirituality of adoration on how we can effectively spend our time during the holy hour. Adoration will begin at 6:20pm and will go on until about 7:00pm when our catechism students will come over from the school to join us for adoration in church at the St. Stephen site. Benediction (blessing) will follow and conclude around 7:15pm when the Eucharist will be reposed (or put back) in the tabernacle. At that time the catechism students and their parents will be dismissed from church.
What can I expect to experience at this adoration event? You will see how the Eucharistic Jesus will be placed in a monstrance which is like a metal sunburst that sits on the altar. How long will Jesus be present in the monstrance? About an hour… But on Tuesday mornings from 9am – 12pm, Jesus is present in the St. Stephen’s chapel for three hours thanks to Frank and Judy Elliott who organize it. All are welcome to attend that weekly event too. If you are free then, I encourage and challenge you to set a goal to spend one hour with Jesus per week. You might not be able to do that right off the bat. Like someone who just starts to exercise by running or lifting weights, you start out small and slow just like with adoration. The same principle applies, whether physical or spiritual. You may need to start at five or 10 minutes and build up from there. At this evening adoration event, be ready to use your senses as rich elements of incense, music, candles, and different-than-normal, priestly vestments will be used to make your adoration prayer more fruitful.
St. John Paul II wrote in an encyclical letter on the Eucharist that all Catholics are called to contemplate the Eucharistic face of Christ (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, no. 7). This is a faith opportunity for you to behold the face of Jesus truly present in the Eucharist. “By worshipping the Eucharistic Jesus, we become what God wants us to be! Like a magnet, the Lord draws us to Himself and gently transforms us. In its fullest essence… Eucharistic Adoration is ‘God and Man reaching out for each other, at the same time!” (Source: http://catholic-church.org/kuwait/eucharistic_adoration.htm). May we reach out to Jesus with a heart full of desire that can only be filled by his mercy and love. Amen.
Fr. Jeff Allan
Boer, Paul A. and St. Peter Julian Eymard. The Real Presence.
Flynn, Vinny. Seven Secrets of the Eucharist.
Groeschel, Fr. Benedict. Praying in The Presence of Our Lord: Prayers for Eucharistic Adoration.
Racine, Fr. Florian. Could You Not Watch With Me One Hour: How to Cultivate A Deeper Relationship with The Lord Through Eucharistic Adoration.