By DEACON ADAM COX
Special to Catholic Times
Many Catholics across the country are starting a three-year journey. This journey is about Eucharistic Revival, and it is intended to wake up that inner longing for Jesus in the most intimate way possible by placing the proper emphasis on the Blessed Sacrament.
Coming from a Protestant background, I saw Communion as purely symbolic, and this view is held by many denominations still today. The Eucharist is still a mystery to me in some respects, but as a deacon, I can’t imagine my life without it and the wonderful graces I receive from it. I will be the first to say that it wasn’t always this way. In fact, I was somewhat skeptical when I went through the RCIA program and all the way up to when I received holy Communion for the first time.
From that very moment at the Easter Vigil, my life changed, and I didn’t take holy Communion for almost another year. I experienced something and it scared me. I felt love, not just any love, but something that welled up from deep inside my inner being. I won’t get into why that scared me because I have a long and complicated past, but for once in my life, I was accepted for who I am.
My love for the Eucharist has only grown stronger over the years, and I am saddened by how in some places, it has been taken for granted. To receive the Eucharist, is to receive a friend, a friend who will give anything for your wellbeing. This is not something to take lightly but should always be respected and something we should always be grateful for. The Eucharist should never be part of a “list” of items that we will get to for the week, but in some cases, it is treated as such.
The Eucharist is an experience and once you feel that experience, it will shake you to your soul. That experience will vary from person to person, but in the end, you cannot help but be changed for the better.
When I assist at Mass, I always have the upmost respect for the Eucharist, and there is always a moment of grief when I place the ciborium back in the tabernacle because I’m closing the door on my Lord. As I genuflect, I need to remind myself that Jesus is always present, and it’s not “Goodbye,” but, “See you next time.” It may sound ridiculous to some, but once you are touched by the love of Jesus, you will continue to crave that connection.
Over the next three years, the goal of the nationwide Eucharistic Revival is to spread a devotion to the Blessed Sacrament that for some reason has diminished. We need to rekindle the love and respect for the Eucharist because Christ is truly and unequivocally present in all tabernacles of the world. Next time you are at Mass, and you present yourself for holy Communion, that is not some altar bread from a supply house but a King, a friend, and our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Deacon Adam Cox serves at Mother of Perpetual Help in Maryville.