The bishops of the United States are calling for a three-year grassroots revival of devotion and belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
The bishops believe that God wants to see a movement of Catholics across the United States, healed, converted, formed and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist – and sent out in mission “for the life of the world.”
These three years, beginning on June 19, will culminate in the first National Eucharistic Congress in the United States in almost 50 years. An estimated 100,000 Catholics will join together in Indianapolis for a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage toward the “source and summit” of our Catholic faith. The bishops are calling us to a renewal of our belief in the Real Presence of our Lord in the Eucharist and in a revival to spread the word.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.” CCC 1324
The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith because, “By the consecration, the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood, with his soul and his divinity.” CCC1413
As a deacon do I believe this – wholeheartedly! As a man do I have difficulty understanding this? – Absolutely! How can my human brain wrap its mind around this? I question, I doubt, and yet I believe because I have come to know that the opposite of faith is not doubt, the opposite of faith is certainty. Faith is to believe despite doubt. Faith is an act of the will.
And I will to believe it because Jesus said it. We know that He said it at the Last Supper. But, even more significantly to me, is when He says it in John 6:53-60, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life within you” Then many of his disciples who were listening said, ‘This saying is hard; who can accept it?” and they turned away and left Him.
Jesus knew what those disciples were thinking and that they would walk away from Him, yet He didn’t sugar coat it. That tells us that it is the truth and that is why we can believe it.
Additional resources regarding the Eucharistic Revival can be found at NorwichDiocese.org/EucharisticRevival
By Deacon Ben LoCasto