Year of Faith
The Evangelizing Power of Eucharistic Adoration
More recently our parish has started offering a monthly "Festival of Praise," which is centered around a meal and an hour of Eucharistic Adoration. Prayer teams are available to pray with participants, and we offer confession whenever possible. After our very first festival, a senior citizen came up to me in tears and told me that is the first time she felt the presence of the Lord in her heart.
During a procession our deacon stopped in front of a six-year-old boy, holding the Eucharist out to him. The deacon was about to move on but sensed he should stay a few moments longer. The boy, named Joseph, held out his hand to the monstrance with a look of wonder. Afterward, I asked Joseph what had happened and he said, "I was tired of holding my candle so I was glad that I got to put that down. Jesus came over to me and he told me that he loved me and that made me happy."
Jesus speaks to, converts, blesses, and transforms us through his True Presence. We have also added thirty minutes of Adoration to our First Communion retreat. I have found that the children, more so than the adults, get it. They want to be there. As a catechist I see it as the fulfillment of my duties: to bring them to Jesus, get out of the way, and allow Jesus to love them.
Cardinal Burke again states: "The Holy Eucharist is an incomprehensible gift of God's love which fills us with gratitude and with the desire to make this most wonderful gift, our Lord Jesus Himself, known to all our brothers and sisters. If, as is true, the Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of the Church's life, the Holy Eucharist is also the source and summit of the Church's mission in the world" (Divine Love Made Flesh, 178). I have spoken to youth ministers who believe that teens won't like Adoration because it isn't fun enough, and I've reassured them that through Adoration and the experience of the True Presence of Jesus, those teens (and all of us) are becoming disciples of the Lord.
In Evangelization we are tasked to proclaim Jesus Christ. Is there any more powerful way this side of the Parousia than proclaiming Jesus through the Eucharist?
Adam Janke, MA (Franciscan University of Steubenville) is a parish director of religious education and youth minister in Michigan. He also serves as the volunteer Vice President for St. Paul Street Evangelization. He lives in Dansville, MI with his wife and four children.