Jesus looked forward to returning to the Father. We’re reminded that, Jesus was at the Father’s right hand, a long time before he was born of the Virgin Mary, and agreed that he would suffer and die— so that all of creation, could again enjoy the promises of Paradise. He rejoiced with the ones that accepted him as the Word of God. Little by little, he shared with his small group of disciples, until they learned his Way: to honor God, praise his name, and respect each other. He laughed with them, and he cried with them. He was one of them; and, even though divine, he embraced humanity completely; obeying the Father in all things—so that, he never sinned. The disciples were his friends, because he told them, everything he heard from the Father. He is one with them, like the Father is with him, and he…is with the Father. Jesus taught them his Way of being, and living life…and, through them…taught us. From them, we learn the meaning of faith, hope, charity, humility, and the overwhelming desire to do the Will of the Father. Their orders to teach, are our orders. We can only teach what we learn and practice; for that, we turn to the gospel and the tradition of the early church.
Members of the early Church were already accustomed to teaching the Law of Moses and the Prophets, to their children, by word of mouth. Teaching them and others, the Way of Jesus, began soon after the Ascension, and continues to the present. We prepare parents and god-parents for the baptism of their children; we provide religious education to the children in Catholic schools and weekly CCD classes. They’re prepared to receive the Sacraments of Eucharist, Confirmation, and with time…they are provided with extensive preparation to marry—the Sacrament of Matrimony. Our religious education doesn’t stop there—in fact, it never ends. If we look at the weekly bulletin, we find the many opportunities offered; to learn more about the Way of Jesus. The reason Jesus ordered us to teach his Way, is so that we can internalize it, and put it into practice. We all know, that this part tends to get a little more difficult. But, Jesus doesn’t leave us without guidance. Through the years, he has inspired, the rise of devotions, that provide us with the prayer life necessary for our sanctification—allowing us to practice what we preach.
After the Ascension, the disciples, immediately, began celebrating the Eucharist in memory of Jesus, as they had been ordered. It became the center of their worship and preaching. They believed and taught what Jesus told them: this bread is my Body; this wine is my Blood. The teaching and belief in the Real Presence is the same today, as it was then, and will always be. It tastes like bread, it tastes like wine, but it’s transformed by the Holy Spirit, and it’s Jesus we eat! Everything the disciples learned from Jesus, and taught—begins here—at the altar. And, every Church devotion and ministry is rooted in the Eucharist. That’s why, everyone is invited to make time in their busy day, to visit Jesus in the Adoration Chapel. The opportunity, in our parish, is possible because there are some, that have registered to do so, one hour a week. It’s necessary to formally register individuals, to make sure; that there’s someone always present before the Blessed Sacrament—it’s only right and proper, that the Creator be perpetually honored and adored when exposed—that is, visibly present. By registering individuals to be present every hour of the week, it’s possible for everyone else to enjoy being in the Lord’s Presence, when they want to adore, praise, petition, and thank him for favors received. Each visitor receives much more. You’ve heard it said that, “time flies when you’re having fun,” there are many; myself included, that will tell you that sometimes you make a visit; sit in the Presence, and an hour goes by…like the blink of an eye. It’s like God telling us…he loves spending time with us so much, he makes it easy; and it passes so quickly…to give us a taste of heaven. There are announcements in the bulletin weekly, advising the days and hours in dire need, and hours that don’t have any adorers—just in case you want to know.
We’re privileged and honored every Holy Mass, to be able to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Yes, he has returned to the Father, but remains with us. He gives himself to us as spiritual food; that we might eat him; love, honor, and reflect him, to everyone we meet…by loving, one another.