I strongly believe that the best thing the Catholic Church has is the Holy Eucharist. That Jesus Christ would leave behind himself for each and everyone of us continues to amaze me. It is was drew me to the priesthood. It is what continues to nourish me as a priest.
A few weeks ago my pastor and I started to think that we should offer Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament more frequently in our parish. While the Church is too big, the chapel in the rectory can hold some 50 people and would be a perfect location. We decided to “go big or go home”. Beginning the Monday after Divine Mercy Sunday we began to hold four hours of Eucharistic Adoration every day, Monday through Friday. The Lord is exposed simply at 4pm and Benediction is given at 8pm each night.
On Divine Mercy Sunday I spoke after each of the Masses asking for people to commit to taking an hour a week to ensure that Our Blessed Lord would not be left alone. We needed 40 people to commit so that each hour would have 2 adorers. By the end of the weekend we had over 70 different people commit to taking an hour each. INCREDIBLE! I was stunned. I thought I would have to really push this and speak about it for a few weeks. I was mobbed after each Mass with people eager to sign up. It has truly been incredible to watch the enthusiasm of the parish rally around the Blessed Sacrament. There is an eagerness for closeness to Jesus Christ. It really is true, if you offer it, they will come.
So often we get into the frame of mind that well, no one is coming so lets cut back or cancel or not offer this or that. I think the opposite is true. We need to offer MORE chances for people to experience Jesus Christ. The New Evangelization demands that we think differently than the past, that we reach out more. We can’t be complacent with what has always been done, or even with small numbers. We had some 70 people commit to an hour each before the Blessed Sacrament, think of all the people that will be able to visit for just a few minutes here and there because of their commitment. I am sure this will revitalize our parish and nourish our parishioners, in ways visible and invisible. Please God, seeds of Vocations will be planted and nourished too.
The greatest thing we can do for ourselves is to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ. Lets offer as many chances for that to happen as possible.
This was the simple flyer that we put in the bulletin and at the doors to the Church:
May the heart of Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament, be praised, adored, and loved with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time. Amen.