On Saturday, Jan. 14th the diocese held a Eucharistic Revival which was attended by over 200 people from parishes around our diocese. I was blessed to attend this event and have a few comments to share.
Chris Carstens, Director of Sacred Worship for the Diocese, spoke at the beginning of the revival gathering and made a comment regarding how we can best instill the belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist within members of the Catholic Church. He stated recent studies have shown that only 31% of Catholics believe Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist.
Mr. Carstens stated that our goal in life is to know, love and serve God. He said that Ann Lankford, the Director of Catechesis for the Diocese would likely say the way to bring people to belief is through better knowledge of the faith. (Catechesis) While Chris Ruff, Director of Social Concerns for the Diocese may say we discover Jesus in the Eucharist by displaying concerns for those in need and showing our faith in action. He said another way to come to belief is through the liturgy. He said that all three are correct; that we do need an understanding of the faith to believe that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist, that we do indeed take Jesus to others when we tend to the needs of society, and that we encounter Jesus in the liturgies of the Church, especially the Holy Mass.
How true these statements are. We must educate ourselves regarding what the Church believes and teaches so we can begin to wrap our mind around the miracle we participate in when attending the Mass. We, as Catholics, help others here and around the world through our giving and our work in social concerns. And we do encounter Jesus in a profound way in our liturgies, but especially at Mass where we are invited to take within ourselves the Precious Body and Precious Blood of Jesus.
I hope and pray that anyone who does not believe in the Real Presence will take some time in the coming years of this Eucharistic Revival to educate themselves, worship the Lord and take Jesus out to the world. For those of us who do believe, let us work hard and pray hard for success in the Church’s endeavors.