Dear Brothers & Sisters,
These past three weeks we heard of the Epiphany of Jesus. We saw how he was revealed by the Magi as the child born of us, at the baptism, we heard that he was the son of God, and at the wedding of Cana, we saw the first miracle. These signs all point to the person of Christ, but how closely do we know Jesus? How often do we talk to Jesus? What’s the relationship that we have with him? This week I would like to reflect with you the power of adoration and visiting Jesus at the Blessed Sacrament.
I remember many years ago someone asking if we knew Tom Brady. Of course everyone knew Tom Brady! Then the speaker went on to ask if we actually knew him, his house, his hobbies. Unfortunately, no one knew Tom Brady, we only knew about Tom Brady. The same can be said of Jesus. If we don’t have a personal relationship with Christ, we can fall into the same problem, namely, we know about Christ, we have read about him, but we don’t quite know him. In my personal life, I remember meeting a very important person whose life was really centered on Christ. He wanted Jesus to be part of his life so much that he spent a lot of time with Jesus. Since he was a very busy man, I remember seeing him every single night spending time with his “buddy”. No matter how tired he was, or how late he got home, he always waited for the best part of his day, to spend time with the Blessed Sacrament. It is true that he had a chapel in his house, but all of us can find time to come to church to spend time with Jesus. This year I began again reading a book “A Year with the Eucharist: Daily Meditations on the Blessed Sacrament” by Fr. Paul Jerome Keller, OP. Each day it comes with a meditation from a saint regarding the Eucharist. I came across this quote from St. Alphonsus de Liguori from the “Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament” (another great little book). I believe it speaks for itself the importance of spending time with Jesus.
All the saints have been enamored of this devotion [to the Eucharist]. On this earth, we cannot find a more brilliant jewel or a more lovely treasure than Jesus in the sacrament. Certainly, after the frequentation of the sacraments, the adoration of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is, of all devotions, the most acceptable to God and the most useful to us. Do not then, O soul, refuse to begin this devotion: from this day forward, retire each day from human conversation, and remain for some time, at least for half an hour or a quarter, in some church, before Jesus Christ in the Holy Sacrament. “Taste, and see how sweet the Lord is” (ps. 34:8). Make a trial of this devotion, and you see the great fruit which you shall draw from it. Be assured that, of all the moments of your life, the time you spend in devotion before this most divine Sacrament will be that which shall give you the greatest support during life, and the greatest consolation at the hour of death, and for all eternity: be persuaded that you shall gain more in a quarter of an hour spent in prayer before the Holy Eucharist than in all the other spiritual exercises of the day. It is true, that God hears in all places the prayers of all who seek his graces; for he has said, “Ask, and you shall receive” (Matt 7:7)...Blessed Henry Suso used to say that Jesus on the altar hears the prayer of the faithful more readily than he does in any other place. And where but at the foot of the altar have holy souls made the most generous resolutions? Perhaps, you too, will one day, before some tabernacle, resolve to give yourself entirely to God?
Father Steven Clemence