I’d like to begin with a word of gratitude particularly this evening to those of you who have recently made a commitment to Eucharistic Adoration. And to those of you, too, who have sustained the daily prayer of Adoration here in the Cathedral for many years.
This is the Year of Faith – and people of faith are faithful, in the sense of committed, constant. Like God himself, like Jesus, even to the giving of his life.
We are marking the fact that a whole new group of people have recently committed themselves to an hour of Adoration here each week. And we can only do this with a celebration of the Mass, because Eucharistic Adoration is an extension of the Mass and makes no sense separated from the Mass. Reservation of Eucharist developed in the Church because the Community longed to share the Eucharist with the sick and those unable to attend Mass. Because the Sacred Host was reserved in a Tabernacle, it began to draw people, just to be with Jesus, in the presence of Jesus, and ponder the mystery of Jesus with us, living, present, real…
I was delighted then with the readings the Church gives us on this day when I read them. The Gospel especially, which is from Mark. It tells us what happened after Jesus had fed the five thousand. That was yesterday’s Gospel. It told us that when Jesus saw the crowd, he took pity on them. They were lost, like sheep without a shepherd. Very much the case today in ways: People not sure who to listen to, who to trust. So, first, Jesus taught them at some length, and second, He gave them to eat. He nourished hearts and minds, and then bodies. The whole person, full and plenty.
We hear that after Jesus sent the crowd and the disciples away “he “went off into the hills to pray.” Personal prayer follows Eucharist. But for the people, they go into the world, as it were, and the disciple into their boat, a symbol of the Ship, the Bark of Peter, the Church. And they encounter headwinds, storms, no progress – our situation today.
They were not really lost. Because not lost to Jesus. To themselves, yes, but not to him. How easily it happened, how quickly. We too can lose quickly the One/the Word who gives life.
“He got into the boat with them.” They are far from being alone. They are not abandoned. He is in the boat! Isn’t that Eucharist? Real Presence. Eucharist is what it signifies.
What is Adoration? It is to be present to the one who is present to us, with us. So the storm abates and all is calm again. And not just any personal storm, certainly that, but we do adoration for the Church; for the Parish; for the Diocese; for the Community; for all who are on the Ship, in the Ark.
Who is this Jesus who is present? The Love of the Father/God for us. “He loved us first.” Thus enabling us to love each other. How we long to be loved!
So this is where we take our stand when we commit to Adoration: It is a stance of faith!
At times, it is lonely, cold, and I don’t feel like it, but it is so necessary, and vital.
And silence/quiet was never so needed, allowing Him to look on me and love me!
For this we were made, to Give glory and praise to God.