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Eucharistic Adoration: A Refuge from the World

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“And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself” (Jn. 12:32).

Our Lord is lifted up multiple times during His Paschal Mystery: He is raised up on the cross, He is lifted up when He rises from the dead and He is lifted up when He ascends into heaven.

And our Lord in the Eucharist is lifted up before our very eyes five times during the Mass. When bread becomes the Body of Christ, the priest lifts up the Body of Our Lord. Similarly, when the wine is transformed into the Blood of Christ, the priest elevates the chalice for all to see. At the Eucharistic Prayer’s conclusion, the priest, with the deacon’s assistance, raises up the sacred species as he says, “Through Him, with Him, and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours almighty Father, forever and ever.” Again, at the invitation to Holy Communion, the Body and Blood of Christ are elevated as the priest says, “Behold the Lamb of God … .” Finally, the Lord is lifted up for us in a personal way when we receive the Body of Christ, as the priest, deacon or other minister slightly raises the Host with the invitation, “the Body of Christ.”

These are powerful, thought-provoking and spiritually overwhelming moments during Mass. We get to behold the face of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Remarkably, this doesn’t end with Mass’s conclusion—Eucharistic Adoration is the prolongation of the five elevations during Mass. In Eucharistic Adoration, our Lord in the Eucharist is lifted up before us, and He draws us to Himself.

I experienced this profoundly in my own life. As a freshman at the University of Dayton, I found Eucharistic Adoration in a basement chapel. Drawn to Jesus in the Eucharist, I found myself returning to that chapel, multiple times each week to seek the Lord. In this hidden place, the Lord drew me to Himself and awakened a call to the priesthood.

Throughout my time in the seminary and six years of priestly ministry to today, I am still drawn to Jesus in the Eucharist. For a priest, the Eucharist in the Mass can become one function among many to complete—we attend committee meetings, prepare RCIA talks, visit the sick and celebrate the sacraments. However, I have found Eucharistic Adoration to be a refuge in the midst of activities. Jesus Christ listens to my griefs, solves my issues and simply offers His love. I continually come back to Eucharistic Adoration to be strengthened for the Lord’s work.

In being raised up, whether suspended on the cross then or in a monstrance during adoration now, Jesus Christ makes Himself vulnerable for us. He invites us into intimacy with Himself. He hears our prayers and petitions as we hear His still, small voice.

The four parishes where I serve as pastor are blessed with two perpetual Eucharistic Adoration chapels. I’m encouraged by our parishioners who flock to Jesus in the Eucharist. There are parents raising four children who take a 2:00 a.m. hour every week, retirees who take multiple hours each week, and high schoolers who offer one hour a week, all doing so to stay with our Lord. These parishioners share that this hour of adoration is the best part of their week and they can’t imagine life without it.

What if every Family of Parishes was blessed with a Eucharistic Adoration Chapel? What if our Archdiocese was graced with men and women, young and old, who were drawn to the Lord in the Eucharist? The Lord is lifted up before our eyes and hearts in Eucharistic Adoration. Will we allow Him to draw us to Himself?

This article appeared in the August 2022 edition of The Catholic Telegraph Magazine. For your complimentary subscription, click here.

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