There are a few instances in the gospels when the reader can sense the sadness and disappointment of Jesus. The first moment happens when Jesus comes to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead. When the Master realizes that His friend has been in the tomb for four days, he sheds tears. The Gospel of John puts it succinctly: “Jesus wept.” The Lord also was disappointed to see His glorious city, Jerusalem, ignoring Him, because “she did not recognize the hour of His visitation.” However, probably the most disappointed plea of Jesus rings out in the Garden of Gethsemane when He addresses His three closest disciples: “Could you not watch one hour with Me?” That painful plea of the Master has touched the hearts of many Catholics down the years and in response they have spent quiet prayerful hours in the presence of the Eucharistic Lord.
Our parish is blessed to have a Perpetual Adoration Chapel that is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. As we thank God for the numerous blessings the parish has received because of our chapel, let us pray that more and more parishioners will discover the beauty and the benefits of spending time in the chapel. I invite you to prayerfully remember those who sacrifice themselves to keep it going. I would like to thank Bob and Christine Maszka, Vince and Margaret Ross for their hard work and dedication to ensure that the practice of Eucharistic adoration flourishes in our community. Let us remember with gratitude the priests who have taken care of the chapel over the years. First of all, we thank Fr Matt Gambor who was instrumental in creating the chapel. After his departure, other priests stepped up including Fr Rob Schulz, Fr Musula, Fr Muraya and now Fr Peter. Let us also pray for all the adorers – past and present – who have been channels of grace for our parish and for our families.
How can we thank the Lord for this great gift? First of all, we need to heed Christ’s command: “Do this in memory of Me!” We need to commit ourselves to participate in the Sunday Eucharist without fail. We need to look on Sunday Mass not as an obligation but as a privilege. The King invites us to dine with Him and we should feel honored. If possible, we should try to go to Mass whenever we can, even on weekdays.
Second, we need to make the Eucharist the center of our daily life. We need to draw strength from the Bread of Heaven as we face our life struggles. We need to find the power to fight temptation from the Food of the Strong that fed the martyrs. We need to model our spiritual life on the Eucharist.
Third, we need to utilize the tremendous gift that we are blessed with in this parish. I am talking about our adoration chapel which affords us the possibility to spend time with the Eucharistic Lord. The Lord is waiting for us day and night. He beckons us just as He beckoned Peter and the others: “Watch and pray with Me!” If we want to grow in our personal relationship with Jesus, we need to use this gift. Being quiet before the Lord is soothing for the soul and draws us closer to the Master. Great saints found their power in the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
In my own personal life, I have grown spiritually whenever I spent time before the Blessed Sacrament. In crucial moments in my life I have always run to the Eucharistic Lord. Fifteen years ago when I found out that I had a problem with my heart, I knelt in prayer before the tabernacle. Immediately I felt calm and peaceful because I knew that the Lord was with me. If you are not already a regular adorer, I encourage you to consider spending some time in the adoration chapel. Let us teach our children to appreciate this opportunity.
On this feast day, let me leave you with a few words from a prayer written by St. John Mary Vianney, also known as the Cure of Ars, the patron of parish priests. He was a simple man who was known for his holiness and his humility. Perhaps you can pray these words during your next visit to the adoration chapel.
My Jesus, the more we know you, the more we love you. Knowledge of you kindles such a fire in our souls that we have no energy left for worldly desires. My Jesus, how good it is to love you. Let me be like your disciples on Mount Tabor, seeing nothing else but you. Let us be like two bosom friends, neither of whom can ever bear to offend the other. Amen.
May the Eucharistic Lord bless our adorers and the entire parish!
Born in India to deeply-committed Catholic parents, Fr Britto is one of seven children. He joined the Salesians of Don Bosco as a young man and was ordained a priest in 1981.
After he completed his priestly formation and his early education in India, he came to the US for his graduate degree in Journalism at...Read more...