This weekend, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), marks the beginning of the National Eucharistic Revival. Scandal, division, disease, doubt is ever present in our world. The Church has withstood each of these throughout our very human history. But today we confront all of them, all at once. Our response in this moment is pivotal. In the midst of these roaring waves, Jesus is present, reminding us that he is more powerful than the storm. He desires to heal, renew, and unify the Church and the world. How will he do it? By uniting us once again around the source and summit of our faith—the Holy Eucharist. The National Eucharistic Revival is the joyful, expectant, grassroots response of the entire Catholic Church in the U.S. to this divine invitation.
The revival is a three-year initiative of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. During the first year, efforts are focused on the diocesan level — this may include diocesanwide events (See the bulletin for Diocesan events this Sunday and Monday), acts of service, days of prayer and healing, study groups, pilgrimages and outreach to those who are under-served. All of these activities will culminate with a Diocesan Eucharistic Congress in 2023 right here in our diocese. Today, (Sunday) there will be a Eucharistic
procession following the Sunday morning Masses at Sacred Heart and St. Stephen.
In the second year, Area Catholic Communities will take the spotlight. ACCs and parishes will be encouraged to have days of prayer, study, devotion, outreach and their own ACC eucharistic congresses. At the diocesan congress, people will be given the tools to host these events and welcome people in their areas to attend, reaching out beyond parish walls and into the community.
At the end of the second year, the first National Eucharistic Congress in the United States in almost 50 years will happen in July 2024. Organizers envision 100,000 Catholics will join together in Indianapolis for this pilgrimage. Give prayerful consideration to being a delegate to the Congress.
This Sunday we are invited to reflect upon the mystery of the great meal which Jesus has given us. Every time we gather for mass, we enter into this one time sacrifice of Jesus’ selfless love and are given the command to follow his lead each and every day of our lives. In the sharing of the bread and the wine, we recall the sacrifice that Jesus made to set us free from sin and death. No longer do we need to offer sacrificial offerings of bulls, sheep, or pigeons for forgiveness of sins and unity with God.
In the gospel the disciples, could be charged, with what some say is “stingy thinking”. The disciples looking at the 5,000 plus crowd, the remote location, and having only 5 loaves of bread and two fish, see the task of feeding the crowd to be impossible. They rely on their own abilities and fail to see what God can do. The gospel story reveals that God can take our gifts and multiply them for the benefit of many.
We also pray for and congratulate all our fathers.
Fathers are called constantly to sacrifice themselves for the good of their children---attending activities, tending to injuries, sharing an ice cream cone, sitting and sharing tears of hurt or joy. Through countless sacrifices fathers teach their children and others, how to love unselfishly and thus make them better images of Christ. Thank you, Fathers, for being Eucharist to us!
Finally, on a personal note…. Thank you for the cards, well wishes, and gifts in honor of my 40 years of ordination to the priesthood. The years have gone quickly. I am moved by your kindness and generosity.
Thank you for your inspirational acts of faith and love. I am truly blessed.
Have a faith filled week! Fr. Ron