They prostrated themselves and did him homage” (Mt 2:11).
“We can actually come and adore Him like the shepherds; we can prostrate ourselves before Him like the Magi; we need no longer regret our not having been present at Bethlehem” (St. Peter Julian Eymard). “The Catholic world will keep the eyes of its heart on the supreme mystery of the Eucharist in order to draw from it a new apostolic and missionary impetus. This is why it is important to prepare oneself well and I thank you, dear brothers and sisters, for the work you are carrying out to help the faithful on every continent to understand ever better the value and importance of the Eucharist in our lives . . . . How great is humanity’s need today to rediscover the source of its hope in the Sacrament of the Eucharist! I thank the Lord because many parishes, as well as celebrating Holy Mass devoutly, are educating the faithful in Eucharistic Adoration, and I hope also in view of the upcoming International Eucharistic Congress that this practice will continue to spread” (Pope Benedict XVI, November 9, 2006, address to Pontifical Committee for Intl. Eucharistic Congress). Solemnity of the Epiphany of The Lord—January 7
“‘Where is the new-born King of the Jews?’ inquired the three Magi of Herod, king of Jerusalem. ‘Where is He?’ they repeat in their great desire to find Him. ‘We have seen His star in the East, and we have come to adore Him. Ah, tell us where He is; we desire so much to see Him; we have made so long a journey in order to become acquainted with Him!’. . . But now there is no need of traveling far or of making many inquiries to find Him. He is, as we know by faith, in our churches, not far from our homes. The Magi could find Him in one place only; we can find Him in every part of the world, wherever the Blessed Sacrament is kept. Are we then not happier than those who lived at the time of our Saviour Himself?” (The Blessed Eucharist, Fr. Michael Muller, C.S.S.R.) “Let us remain in adoration: and to him, who, in order to save us, humbled himself to such a degree of poverty as to receive our body, let us offer not only incense, gold and myrrh, the first as God, the second as king, and the third as one who sought death for our sake, but also spiritual gifts more sublime than those which can be seen with the eyes” (Oratorio, St. Gregory Nazienzen, feast day, Jan. 2). St. Gregory marveled at the depth of his mother, Nonna’s, faith in God on the altar. While in His presence, she would never turn her back. In a homily, on the Baptism of Jesus, St. Gregory Nazienzen writes of St. John the Baptist’s humble adoration of Jesus: “He [St. John] is the lamp in the presence of the sun, the voice in the presence of the Word, the friend in the presence of the Bridegroom, the greatest of all born of a woman in the presence of the firstborn of all creation, the one who leapt in his mother’s womb in the presence of him who was adored in the womb, the forerunner and future forerunner in the presence of him who has already come and is to come again.” Traditionally, the altars of Churches were designed to face the East, since it is from the Orient that “the dawn [Jesus] will break upon us” again (Lk 1:78). On the feast of the Epiphany may we pray, “I recognize in You, O little Jesus, the King of heaven and earth; grant that I may adore You with the faith and love of the Magi” (Divine Intimacy, Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene, OCD). “The church exists so we can meet Christ there, Son of the living God. God has a face. God has a name. In Christ, God became flesh and gives Himself to us in the mystery of the Blessed Eucharist” (Pope Benedict XVI, Dec. 10, 2006).
Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God & World Day of Peace—Jan. 1 “There is nothing Mary has that is for herself alone—not even her Son. Before He is born, her Son belongs to others. No sooner does she have the Divine Host within herself than she rises from the Communion rail of Nazareth to visit the aged [Elizabeth] and to make her young” (The World's First Love: Mary, Mother of God, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen). Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus—Jan. 3 “O give thanks to the Lord, call on His name, make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing praise to Him, glory in His name” (Ps 105:1-4a). Every time we repose the Blessed Sacrament we pray the Divine praises, which begin: “Blessed be God, blessed be His holy name. Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man. Blessed be the name of Jesus.” And, we conclude by singing, “Holy God, we praise Thy name!” So important is it for us to say the name of Jesus that our Savior said, “You will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” (Mt 23:39). This is why at every Mass, before the priest begins the Eucharistic prayer, we pray: “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” St. Paul proclaims: “God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:9-11). St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Widow, Mother, Religious, U.S. (1774-1821)—Jan. 4 Of the Eucharist, St. Elizabeth wrote: “Can there be any comparison to this blessedness? Adored Lord, increase my faith, perfect it, crown it.” “May I ever find in His adorable Sacrament the same ardent wish, the same fervent desire to be for eternity united with Jesus.” St. John Neumann, Redemptorist Priest, Bishop, Bohemia (1811-1860)—Jan. 5 “Throughout his life, John Neumann’s great devotions were to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and to our Blessed Lady, and he was always eager to inculcate these devotions into his people. To increase love for the Blessed Sacrament in his diocese, he introduced the practice of the Forty Hours” (Saint of Philadelphia: The Life of Bishop John Neumann, Philip Douglas). Bl. Br. Andre Bessette, Brother, Miracle Worker, Montreal, Canada (1845-1937)—Jan. 6 “His love of the Holy Eucharist was impregnated with a love for the sufferings of the Master; the Holy Hour which he inaugurated at the Oratory [of St. Joseph] every Friday evening was followed by the Way of the Cross” (Brother Andre:The Wonder Man of Mount Royal, Henri-Paul Bergeron). Feast of the Baptism of the Lord—Jan. 9 “This is the philosophy of life, the culture of life that becomes concrete and practical and beautiful in communion with Christ, the living God, who walks with us in the companionship of his friends, in the great family of the Church . . . . It is a ‘yes’ to the challenge of really living life, of saying ‘no’ to the attack of death that presents itself under the guise of life; and it is a ‘yes’ to the great gift of true life that became present on the Face of Christ, who gives himself to us in baptism and subsequently in the Eucharist” (Pope Benedict XVI, Jan. 8, 2005). St. Francis de Sales, Priest, Bishop, France (1567-1622)—Jan. 24 “He who receives the Most Holy Communion receives the living Jesus Christ, whose body, soul and divinity are in this divine Sacrament . . . Let us clearly see in spirit the holy angels who surround the Most Holy Sacrament to adore it” (St. Francis de Sales). St. John Bosco, Priest, Salesian Founder, Italy (1815-1888)—Jan. 31 “Do you want the Lord to give you many graces? Visit Him often. Do you want Him to give you few graces? Visit Him rarely. Do you want the devil to attack you? Visit Jesus rarely in the Blessed Sacrament. Do you want him to flee from you? Visit Jesus often. Do you want to conquer the devil? Take refuge often at the feet of Jesus. Do you want to be conquered by the devil? Forget about visiting Jesus. My dear ones, the visit to the Blessed Sacrament is an extremely necessary way to conquer the devil. Therefore, go often to visit Jesus and the devil will not come out victorious against you” (St. John Bosco). The Presentation of the Lord—Feast, February 2 “The same Jesus is with us in our churches who at His birth was laid on strawand adored by the Magi, who fled into Egypt, who was sought for by the Blessed Virgin and found in the Temple, who changed water into wine, who restored the sight to the blind, made deaf to hear and the dumb to speak. Beloved Christian, you esteem Simeon happy in having been permitted to take the Infant Jesus in his arms; and were you to receive a grace like him, no doubt you would exclaim: ‘Now dost Thou dismiss Thy servant in peace: because my eyes have seen Thy salvation’” (The Holy Eucharist, Jose Guadalupe Trevino). St. Josephine Bakhita, Religious, Africa (1869-1947)—Feast, February 8 Kidnapped from Darfur, Sudan, St. Josephine was enslaved and tortured. She was later bought by a kind family, freed and went to Italy with them at the age of 21. Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament attracted her to Catholicism. She converted and joined the Canossian Sisters. St. Josephine spent many hours daily in Eucharistic Adoration. She said: “I will send from heaven lots of graces for the salvation of souls.” St. Josephine, please pray for the people of Sudan! St. Scholastica, Benedictine Nun, Abbess, Italy (480-547)—Feast, February 10 St. Benedict’s twin sister, Scholastica, was the first abbess of the order of nuns he founded in Monte Cassino. She devoted her entire religious life to prayer and adoration of Jesus Eucharistic. When she died, St. Benedict saw her soul rise to heaven in the form of a dove! Our Lady of Lourdes, (France)—Feast, February 11 On Thursday, February 11, 1858, Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes, France, beheld the first of eighteen apparitions from Our Lady. Annually 6 million pilgrims travel to Lourdes, more than any other Catholic Shrine in the world! The Presence of Our Eucharistic Lord and Our Lady permeates Lourdes. There is Eucharistic Adoration during the day in a large white tent, and in the evening in the Adoration Chapel at St. Bernadette’s Church. From 11:30 p.m. til Midnight there is Eucharistic exposition in the grotto where Our Lady appeared! A procession with Eucharistic Jesus exposed in the Monstrance is held every afternoon, and the sick are brought before Jesus for healing. The little ones, elderly, handicapped sick and weak are the most important people. Youth flock to Lourdes every summer to help care for the sick and bring them to the healing baths. Thousands of Boy and Girl Scouts serve their brothers and sisters during the day, then join in the Rosary processions and Adoration at night. Imagine the awesome sight of the thousands of young people bearing candles, praying before Eucharistic Jesus, through Mary, with people of every tribe and tongue! There are over 40 religious communities established at Lourdes! If only the whole world lived like the pilgrims at Lourdes there would be peace!!! See the little boy kneeling with his hands lifted up in prayer before Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament and the little girl blowing a kiss to Our Eucharistic King. Behold the streams of people flowing to the baths to be immersed and healed in God’s Love. Our Lady has given us the solution: visit and adore her Son in the Most Blessed Sacrament and pray the rosary for the conversion of sinners, for healing, salvation and world peace! Ash Wednesday—February 21 “The two sacraments of the Eucharist and Penance are very closely connected. Because the Eucharist makes present the redeeming sacrifice of the cross, perpetuating it sacramentally, it naturally gives rise to a continuous need for conversion, for a personal response to the appeal made by Saint Paul to the Christians of Corinth: ‘We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God’” (2 Cor 5:20). -Pope John Paul II St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Patron of Clerics & Youth,Italy (1838-1862)—Feb. 27 As a teen, St. Gabriel spent much time with Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. It was through these visits and devotion to Our Lady that he received his calling to the religious life. St. Gabriel was handsome, popular, and loved to dance. He became a Passionist Brother, taking the name of St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows and died at the age of 24.
“I adore You, O my Savior, present here as God and man, in soul and body, in true Flesh and Blood. I acknowledge and confess that I kneel before the sacred humanity, which was conceived in Mary’s womb, and lay in Mary’s bosom; which grew up to man’s estate, and by the Sea of Galilee called the Twelve, wrought miracles, and spoke words of wisdom and peace; which in due season hung on the cross, lay in the tomb, rose from the dead, and now reigns in heaven. I praise, bless and give myself wholly to Him who is the true bread of my soul and my everlasting joy” (Ven. John Henry Newman).
“God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).
When we go to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament we have a personal encounter with the living God. We go to our best friend, our soul mate, the one who loves us the most,—before we were, as we are and as we will be, for now and forever more. There is not a thing we can tell Him that will make Him love us less! He knows us better than we can ever know ourselves. He desires our presence, our closeness, our thoughts, words, and our hearts. He yearns to become one with us to hold, heal and herald us to eternity. Let us go to Him today and everyday in Mass, Communion and Adoration!
“Indeed, God is visible in a number of ways. In the love-story recounted by the Bible, he comes towards us, he seeks to win our hearts, all the way to the Last Supper, to the piercing of his heart on the Cross, to his appearances after the Resurrection and to the great deeds by which, through the activity of the Apostles, he guided the nascent Church along its path. Nor has the Lord been absent from subsequent Church history: he encounters us ever anew, in the men and women who reflect his presence, in his word, in the sacraments, and especially in the Eucharist. In the Church’s Liturgy, in her prayer, in the living community of believers, we experience the love of God, we perceive his presence and we thus learn to recognize that presence in our daily lives. He has loved us first and he continues to do so; we too, then, can respond with love. God does not demand of us a feeling which we ourselves are incapable of producing. He loves us, he makes us see and experience his love, and since he has ‘loved us first’, love can also blossom as a response within us” (Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, 17). “Eternity, which you searched for far away, is already accessible to our senses in this life, Raise your eyes and and look straight ahead, look at the Unleavened Bread in the monstrance, it is there” (Paul Claudel). Lenten Reflection
“In this vale of tears our life is a continual warfare. We battle against the enemies of our salvation: the world with its doctrine and example, our own corrupted nature, and the archfiend of human souls, who, the Prince of the Apostles [St. Peter] says, ‘as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour’ (1 Peter 5:8). We receive many a wound in this conflict—as often as we succumb to temptation. Great is our need of a physician, and our Physician is Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament” (Fr. Lukas, Etlin, O.S.B.).
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