At the local Church I attend, one of the most enjoyable things I like to do before Mass, after my greeting prayers, is to read the church bulletin.
I enjoy this for a number of reasons. It keeps me up-to-date with the current happenings in my faith community and it announces upcoming church or religious community events that I enjoy attending.
In particular I enjoy the weekly message from my Priest. I always find his messages inspiring and thought-provoking. So it came as a surprise to me that I had missed a short message tucked between a number of other messages and announcements. It read, “Eucharistic Adoration Chapel – Perpetual Adoration 7 days a week (6:00am – midnight).” I do not recall how long it had been there, but for some reason on this particular Sunday, I noticed it.
The following Sunday, as I went through my pre-Mass ritual, I again noticed the message. This time it called out to me. I started to ask myself why I had never made the effort to attend a Eucharist Adoration hour. I had no satisfactory answers.
I had heard about it and did some casual reading about it, but I never participated. I am sure I justified it with the same old excuses I tend to use: “I am too busy”, “I am too tired”, “well…I attended Mass already,” and “Oh my goodness..an hour!” In retrospect, these were absolutely silly excuses and showed selfishness on my part.
On the third Sunday, I could feel the Lord calling out to me as I again read the message. I could hear Him softly asking me, “Come, spend an hour with me.” It was on that third Sunday that I recalled Our Lord asking the apostles to wait with him for an hour while he prayed, but they fell asleep.
I felt a sharp pain in my heart. I was doing the same thing to my Lord. The Lord was asking me to spend a single hour with Him, and I was resisting. As I recalled the Passion of the Lord, I thought about what the Lord went through, and here I was resisting a single hour with the Lord.
Now let me clear. I was not being shamed into spending an hour with the Lord. I was not being made to feel guilty. I was made to understand the Passion of our Lord, the Last Supper, the scourging at the pillar, the carrying of cross…the crucifixion…and yes the resurrection.
No, I was not made to feel shame, I was made to feel a unity with the Lord, a oneness in His Passion. I understood that the Lord wanted to share his passion with me. I was made to feel a longing for our Lord. He was not really asking much of me.
That night I took some favorite meditative books and my Rosary. It was late at night and I expected no one at the chapel.
To my surprise, the small chapel was almost full. As I recited my Rosary and meditated on scripture, I was literally moved to tears. I was actually in the presence of the our Lord Jesus Christ.
I promised that I would stay and wait the hour with Him and I did. Being in commune with my fellow parishioners sharing in the a Eucharistic Adoration hour was beyond my imagination.
In the quietness of the chapel I heard the Lord’s strong voice inviting us to share in the breaking of bread, His Body, and the pouring of wine, His Blood.
I have not looked back since that Sunday night. I only look forward to spending a much too brief hour with our Lord our God, Jesus Christ. I invite you to do the same.