As faithful Catholics, we come together to share the “ultimate meal” of the Eucharist where Christ feeds us with His Body and Blood. The Church declares the Eucharist as “the source and summit of the Christian life.” However, typically we are so inundated by life’s anxieties, obligations, and social distractions that we often struggle to focus on that “one thing,” especially as we anticipate our reception of this heavenly food near the end of Mass.
This was the plight that Martha shared with Jesus concerning her sister’s choice to sit at His feet and listen to Him. Martha was too preoccupied with hosting and serving rather than receiving the precious gift of Jesus’ company. Jesus’ gentle rebuke — “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken from her” — was meant to free her from the demands of the stormy world, lead her to a secret, quiet harbor, and encourage her to savor that “one thing.”
During the calm before the storm in Gethsemane, while Jesus sought the companionship of His favored disciples, He said to Peter, “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour?” Jesus is thirsting for our companionship; He desires an intimate relationship with each of us.
As early as the Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325), we know that the Eucharist began to be reserved in the churches of monasteries and convents. Its sacred character was recognized, and the place of reservation was set off from “profane usage.” One of the first unmistakable references to reserving the Blessed Sacrament is found in the life of St. Basil who is said to have divided the Eucharistic Bread into three parts when he celebrated Mass in the monastery. One part he consumed, the second part he gave to the monks, and the third he placed in a golden dove suspended over the altar for adoration.
The lay practice of adoration formally began in Avignon, France on Sept. 11, 1226. To celebrate and give thanks for the victory over the Albigensians, King Louis VII of France asked the Bishop of Avignon to have the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the Chapel of the Holy Cross, so that the faithful laity could savor that “one thing.”
The Church teaches that Jesus is Truly Present in the Eucharist, and she exposes the Eucharist for Adoration. This is the secret, quiet harbor where you can spend time with Jesus and savor that “one thing.” Some are reluctant to join Adoration, perhaps because they don’t know what to do or say. The good news is that there are no specific rules about what you should do during Eucharistic Adoration — all you need to do is simply “be there” in Jesus’ presence. You may pray, quietly sit or kneel, meditate using Scripture or religious books, and even quietly nap in Jesus’ presence. All that is asked is that you do not play games, make phone calls, or disturb the silence. You can drop in for just five minutes or stay for an hour or more. Simply enjoy the peace, and adore the Lord and savor that “one thing.”
You may also wonder how to pray to the King of the Universe — how do you start a conversation? Here are some conversation starters for your face-to-face encounters with the Son of God:
Thank you, Jesus, for…
Lord, I’m really struggling with…
God, today was…
Jesus, I don’t understand…
God, You have truly blessed me with…
Be sure to give Jesus plenty of time to respond — this is a conversation with Him, after all. Though His response may not be audible, be sure to listen for His subtle response.
At Corpus Christi, we practice Eucharistic Adoration on Tuesday mornings after the 8:15 Mass from 9 a.m. to noon, and then again from 7 to 9 p.m. Additionally, an hour of Eucharistic Adoration follows the First Friday Holy Hour explained below.
First Friday Holy Hour:
A more structured version of Eucharistic Adoration is known as a Holy Hour — a one-hour gathering with the faithful during which the Eucharist is exposed for Adoration. The Holy Hour tradition officially goes back to 1674 when Christ appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque multiple times over a 13-month period.
Today, the Holy Hour is led by a Presider who may be assisted by others with designated duties. There is a planned schedule that includes quiet periods mixed in with reflections, prayers, readings, litanies, or songs. Holy Hour concludes with the benediction and a blessing for those attending with the Sacred Eucharist. This is followed by the proclamation of the Divine Praises and a closing song. Incense and bells are typically used to indicate the reverent nature of the rite.
At Corpus Christi, Holy Hour is celebrated on the evening of the First Friday of the month beginning at 6 p.m., a tradition started at our parish by Fr. Jerry.
As you can see, there are many ways you can spend some quality time with Jesus during this Eucharistic Revival and savor that “one thing.”
First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a longstanding tradition in the Catholic faith, established as a means of honoring the compassionate heart of Jesus Christ. This devotion involves attending Mass, receiving Holy Communion, and meditating on the solemnity of the Sacred Heart on the first Friday of each month. The roots of this practice can be traced back to the 17th century when St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French nun, claimed to have received visions of Jesus, during which He revealed His desire for humanity to embrace this devotion as a way of showing love and reparation for the countless sins and offenses committed against His Sacred Heart. The First Friday Devotion has since become a cherished and widespread custom among Catholics worldwide, fostering a deep spiritual connection with the compassionate and loving heart of Jesus.
We invite everyone in the parish to worship the First Friday of every month with this devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus beginning at 2:45 p.m. We will begin with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, songs of praise, Scripture or reflective reading, time for silent prayer, the praying of the Litany to the Sacred Heart, led by the fifth graders, and Benediction. Please come pray with our children to His heart!