June 16, 2019 - Pastor Message07/17/2019
THE YEAR OF PRAYER PART 16: EUCHARISTIC ADORATION
“This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me” (Luke 22:19). The purpose of all prayer is ultimately greater communion with God. God has given us no greater way to do this than through the gift of the Body and Blood of his Son in the Eucharist. Through this Blessed Sacrament, Christ becomes present for us in a way unlike any other, in what we call the Real Presence. The “real” part of this phrase does not mean that Christ is not truly present for us in other ways, such as through the Scriptures or in the life of the Church. Rather, it stresses the fact that the Eucharist is not simply a symbol or reminder of Christ it is Christ himself, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. That is why participating in the Eucharist enables unsurpassed communion with God in and through the Son Holy Communion.
This also means that Christ’s presence in the Eucharist does not end with Mass. He remains with us in the Blessed Sacrament, which we reverently house in the ornate cabinet we call the tabernacle on the high altar. We do this for two reasons: to share Holy Communion with our brothers and sisters who cannot come to Mass by bringing the Blessed Sacrament to them in their homes, hospitals, or nursing homes; and to enable private and communal adoration of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.
Prayer to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, or Eucharistic Adoration, flows from and leads to the prayer and adoration we offer God during Mass. It satisfies our spiritual hunger to remain with Christ after Mass has ended and deepens our hunger for greater unity with him by celebrating and sharing in Holy Communion again at our next Mass. Eucharistic Adoration also helps to focus our prayer, especially for those of us who are more visually oriented. During adoration, we are not only spiritually but physically in the presence of Christ, who comes and makes his home with us through the visible reality of the consecrated host, either present in the tabernacle or displayed on the altar in a decorative case called a monstrance during Eucharistic Exposition.
Private adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle here at St. Boniface is available anytime the church is open, which is during office hours (Monday Friday, 8:301:30), and before all Masses. As part of our Year of Prayer, we will offer the opportunity for communal adoration through the Rite of Eucharistic Exposition and Benediction the last Thursday of every month (excluding November) for the rest of the year. We will expose the Blessed Sacrament at 6:00 PM, after which we will have readings from Scripture with reflections and time for quiet adoration and prayer, concluding the service with a special Eucharistic blessing called Benediction at 6:50 PM. I’ll discuss more specifically what our plans are for communal adoration in next week’s bulletin. In the meantime, please mark your calendars for June 27th at 6:00 PM and plan to join us for our first holy hour. At the Last Supper, when Christ gave us the gift of his enduring presence in the Eucharist, he prayed that we, his disciples, may be where he is (John 17:24). He is with us in the Blessed Sacrament. Let us be where he is by including Eucharistic Adoration in our spiritual life.
Fr. Marc Stockton