6.5.24 Eucharistic Pilgrimage, Eucharistic Revival and St. John the Evangelist

    enJune 06, 2024

    Podcast Summary

    • Dynamic faith journeyOur faith is a journey with Jesus, not a static experience. He calls us to follow him, move, and share the gospel. The Eucharistic procession reminds us of this and invites us to come and follow.

      Our faith is a dynamic journey with Jesus, not a static experience. He calls us to follow him, to move and to go out and share the gospel with the world. The Eucharistic procession is a powerful reminder of this, as we physically walk with the Lord and are reminded that the church is a pilgrim church on earth, perpetually journeying towards the heavenly Jerusalem. As Father Roger Landry shared during the procession from New Haven to Indianapolis, Jesus invites us to come and follow him, and in doing so, we embark on a spiritual journey that leads us closer to him. So, let us remember to embrace the dynamism of our faith and walk with Jesus every step of the way.

    • Parish as a resting placeA parish is more than a place of worship, it's a spiritual resting place where we find refreshment and continue our Christian journey with Jesus.

      A parish is not just a place of worship, but a "hostel along a journey" where we receive refreshment to continue our Christian pilgrimage with Jesus. The word for parish comes from the same root as words in Greek, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese meaning "station" or "resting place." Just as travelers on the Camino de Santiago find refreshment at stations along their journey, we find spiritual refreshment in a parish. The Catholic life is a Eucharistic procession, with Jesus journeying with us both externally and internally through the most blessed sacrament. The National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, which is part of the Eucharistic Revival, symbolizes this journey for every parish and individual Christian. By participating in the pilgrimage, we deepen our understanding of the church and our role in this ongoing spiritual journey with Jesus.

    • Eucharist crisisThe lack of belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist contributes to declining mass attendance and weakens the foundation of Catholic faith.

      The church in the United States is facing a significant crisis rooted in a lack of understanding, belief, and appreciation for the Eucharist. This crisis is evident in declining mass attendance and surveys revealing that half of those who do attend no longer believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The church teaches that through the words of consecration, the bread and wine transform into the actual body and blood of Christ, but many have lost this belief. This misunderstanding of the Eucharist is a cause for concern as it undermines the central tenet of Catholic faith. It is crucial for Catholics to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the Eucharist as the source and summit of the faith.

    • Perception of Jesus in the Blessed SacramentCatholics are being encouraged to view Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament as the true center of their lives, not just a central figure, through a renewed focus on the meaning and significance of the Mass.

      The way Catholics perceive and connect with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is undergoing a significant reevaluation. According to Father Thomas Rosica, a prominent Catholic theologian, this perception could be seen as either the greatest blasphemy or the most sacred expression of faith. If it's the latter, then Jesus should not just be a central figure in our lives but the very source and center of it. The ongoing revival in the US Catholic Church, particularly the parish phase, emphasizes this perspective by focusing on improving four aspects of how we worship Jesus during Mass. These include recognizing the true meaning of the Mass as participating in Jesus' sacrifice and the most important event in history, and treating it as such even when unable to receive communion. This renewed focus aims to help Catholics deepen their relationship with Jesus and make Him the true center of their lives.

    • Eucharistic sacrificeThrough the Eucharist, we offer our bodies as a sacrifice to God, connect with Him, and receive Jesus, the same as Mary and the Church, to revitalize our worship and faith

      During the Mass, we participate in Jesus' self-offering by bringing our own sacrifices to God. Saint Paul encourages us to offer our bodies as a sacrifice to the Lord in response to Christ's sacrifice. This spiritual worship is the only meaningful way to connect with God. We should approach receiving Jesus in the Eucharist with true adoration and openness, recognizing the profound significance of the presence of Christ within us. Saint John Paul II taught that receiving Jesus in the Eucharist is like receiving the same Jesus that Mary received at the Annunciation and that the Church received from her after Christ's ascension. Revitalizing our worship by fully engaging in the Mass and recognizing the true presence of Christ is the foundation for organizing our lives around our faith.

    • Daily encounter with JesusThe daily encounter with Jesus is an invaluable opportunity for spiritual blessings and growth, and should be prioritized as a non-negotiable appointment.

      We have the incredible opportunity to connect with Jesus every day, yet we may not prioritize it as highly as we should. The speakers emphasized that Jesus is present and eager to bless us with spiritual blessings, listen to us, and help us in ways we need. This was illustrated through a story about a persistent Latin American president trying to meet the Pope, and how even more valuable it would be to meet Jesus directly. The speakers encouraged every parish and believer to make time for this daily encounter with Jesus, suggesting that we should view it as an even more important appointment than meeting world leaders. So, let us not miss out on this precious opportunity to deepen our relationship with Jesus.

    • Understanding the EucharistClear teaching and a strong faith are essential for effectively communicating the real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, while imprecise language and lack of knowledge can lead to confusion and misunderstanding.

      Having a personal encounter with Jesus and having a robust faith formation are crucial for understanding and effectively communicating the real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The lack of clear teaching on this topic has led to confusion among believers, particularly young children, who may misunderstand the nature of the Eucharist. It's important to use precise language when discussing the Eucharist and to be prepared to defend our beliefs against those who may challenge them. As Saint Peter did, we should trust in Jesus' words and believe in His divine nature, even if we don't fully understand how He will give us His flesh and blood. By deepening our own faith and knowledge, we can more effectively share the truth of the Eucharist with others.

    • Eucharist missionDeepen understanding of Eucharist, share its impact through Mass, adoration, catechesis, and sharing, give witness to gospel through actions, prepare others for eternal inheritance

      As believers, we are called to deepen our understanding of the Eucharist and share its impact on our lives with others. The US bishops and Pope Francis emphasize the importance of this mission, as we are not just announcing the gospel but giving witness to it through our actions. The four pillars of this mission are Mass, Eucharistic adoration, catechesis, and sharing. By inviting others to experience the love and consolation of Jesus through these practices, we can help them encounter the word made flesh and prepare them for an eternal inheritance. Saint John the Evangelist, our patron here in Westminster, is a reminder of the importance of this mission and the profound impact the Eucharist has had on the lives of believers throughout history.

    • Eucharistic faith of Saint John the EvangelistSaint John's encounter with Jesus led to a profound transformation and deep Eucharistic faith, inspiring us to seek a revival of our faith through his intercession.

      Saint John the Evangelist serves as an inspiring example of deep Eucharistic faith. When John met Jesus for the first time, he immediately followed Him, and their encounter led to a profound transformation in his life. Saint John recorded every word Jesus spoke during the Bread of Life Discourse in John 6, allowing us to understand our faith with certainty. He described the incarnation as "the word became flesh and tabernacled among us," a truth we continue to celebrate in our tabernacles and monstrances. We can seek a revival of our faith by turning to Saint John and asking for a doubled portion of his Eucharistic faith, amazement, gratitude, love, and life. Saint John was privileged to be close to Jesus during the Last Supper and brought His teachings to others through the Mass. As we celebrate the Eucharist, we engage in a heart-to-heart dialogue with Jesus, the source of all holiness and the greatest gift to humankind. "Oh, sacrament most holy, oh, sacrament divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine." Let us ask Saint John the Evangelist to intercede for us as we strive to deepen our Eucharistic faith.