“Could you not watch with Me for one hour?… Keep watch and pray” (Matthew 26:40-41)
There are many sources of evil plaguing our society. However, we as a Church must be reinvigorated by the consoling certainty of God’s Word especially when it says, “Where sin abounded grace abounded all the more” (Romans 5:20).
As Catholics we know where this grace comes from and where it points us to: Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church aptly puts it in paragraph 1324, “The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’ “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”
This one source of life, this one summit we aspire to is one which Catholics need to fall in love with again.
Many Catholics (about one-third) believe in the Real Presence but even among them there are not enough “adorers”; not enough lovers of the Blessed Sacrament struck with “Eucharistic Amazement” as Pope St. John Paul II talked about at the beginning of section six of his encyclical, “Ecclesia de Eucharistia”. Now is a “very acceptable time” (2 Corinthians 6:2) for Eucharistic love and amazement to be stirred up in the hearts of Catholics (cf. Song of Solomon 2:7) because this is in some ways is the grace of graces; being with Christ. In a time when there is a presence of profound evil in the world we must remember the outpouring of God’s goodness is even greater. We are given the Presence of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord hidden in the Most Blessed Sacrament (the “hidden manna” cf. Revelation 2:17).
“Will you also go away?” (John 6: 67)
This Eucharistic awakening of hearts is often experienced as a kind of shock, a life-changing realization and experience of Christ’s Sacred Presence.
That kind of Apostolic recognition of Jesus “in the breaking of the bread” (Luke 24:35) is the kind of faith we need today if we are to turn the tide of sin into a deluge of God’s love and mercy.
However, we have mostly forgotten that Jesus is really there or we were never introduced into His Eucharistic Presence through the faith of another adoring believer. Many Catholics have never encountered any “wise men” in adoration before the Presence of the Incarnate Word.
“And going into the house they saw the child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh” (Matthew 2:11). What gift do we bring the King of Kings?
I believe the gift of His Real Presence in the Eucharist deserves the gift of our real presence in perpetual Eucharistic adoration. However, we have not given Him the homage and loving attention He deserves…
-Matthew Malicki, MA Theology