As a child I never wanted Christmas day to end. It was the greatest day of the year! Over the years, I have come to see that the gift of Christmas remains with us all year long. On Christmas we celebrate the entrance of God into his own creation. God became an infant in order to live with us. Today, our Lord continues to be present to us in a veiled but full manner in the Eucharist. He is present to us in the Eucharist even more than he was to those who visited him in Bethlehem.
The Magi (also known as the “Wise Men”) traveled a great distance to greet Jesus after his birth. All we have to do to visit Jesus is make a short trip to a Catholic church! He is with us here, in our tabernacles and on our altars, but we often do not recognize him, just as most people did not recognize him as Lord when he was an infant.
During my first November as the pastor, I invited parishioners to come to the South Church for an hour of Eucharistic Adoration for four Tuesdays. The response was amazing-we packed the Church! We had a simple mission – to pray for the parish and to trust that God would use those prayers as He saw fit. In the two years that followed, there were times when I questioned whether those prayers actually made a difference! However, as I sit in front of the tabernacle writing this, I have to wonder whether the great fruit of those prayers is our new Eucharistic endeavor.
We are setting out to have Eucharistic Adoration 24 hours a day Monday mornings through Friday mornings at the South Church. Adoration will be interrupted only by the celebration of daily Mass. We plan to begin these hours of Adoration this Lent and continue them indefinitely. Of all of the decisions I have made at this parish, I have the greatest conviction that this work is God’s will.
To make this happen, we need an army of Eucharistic “Adorers.” We need people to sign up for regular spots to adore the Eucharist. In order to help us get to that point, we have several events coming up, including Fr. Benedict La Volpe presiding for Masses on January 4th and 5th to speak to us more about Eucharistic Adoration. Fr. Benedict has done parish missions in the US and UK and is currently the rector of the National Shrine of Maximillian Kolbe at Marytown, which has perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. Please see the back of this page for all of the ways in which we will provide opportunities to better understand the importance of Eucharistic Adoration.
Every Christmas we remember the adoration of the newborn Christ by Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, the angels, and the Magi. Whenever we approach the Eucharist in adoration, we join their prayers. “O, come let us adore Him!”
May God bless you!
Fr. Patrick Burns