The eucharistic revival is beginning.
In a Mass and procession celebrated last month at the cathedral on the feast of Corpus Christi, we launched the National Eucharistic Revival, an initiative of the U.S. Catholic bishops. This revival will go on for the next two years, closing with a National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis, in July 2024.
On Aug. 13, we will hold our archdiocesan Eucharistic Congress at the cathedral.
I hope many of you will join me. The daylong event is free for everyone. We will have Mass and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, along with presentations from top speakers, in English and Spanish.
I am praying that our Eucharistic Congress will be an encounter with Jesus that renews us and transforms our daily lives.
This revival is about restoring the vision of the Eucharist to the heart of Catholic identity and to our experience as followers of Jesus Christ.
In the mystery of the Eucharist, we witness to our worldview as Catholics, the beautiful truth that our world is created and sustained by the love of God.
In the Eucharist, we proclaim the truth that this creation has a loving Creator, and that each one of us receives our life as a gift from the Creator.
We proclaim that the Father loves each one of us so much that he gave his only Son, who offered his body and blood, who poured out his life on the cross, who died and rose again for us for the life of this world that he created.
In the Eucharist, we remember that Jesus loves us to the end, that he gave everything he had for us on the cross.
He became flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary in order to offer his flesh and blood on the cross. Now, he gives his body and blood to us, to be our daily bread, to nourish and strengthen us, as we walk with him on our journey through this world.
When the priest speaks the words of consecration at the altar, we proclaim Jesus’ death, and he comes to us again, and speaks to us of his love. In these words, the Lord is telling us: This is my body, broken and given for you and your salvation. This is my blood, poured out for you, and for the life of the world.
And as Jesus humbled himself to share in our humanity, in the Eucharist he calls us to share in his divinity. Jesus wants to live his life in us, and he wants us to live our lives through him, in him, and with him.
These are mysteries beyond words. But these mysteries give our lives a direction and shape, a purpose.
The offertory prayer that we make in every Mass — “Lift up your hearts / We have lifted them up to the Lord” — this is how we should live now, offering our life back to our Creator. This gift that we have received, we should give back to him in gratitude, in remembrance of his gift, his sacrifice for us, and for our salvation.
The Eucharist makes our lives as Catholics a prayer, something beautiful that we offer to God, that we offer to our brothers and sisters.
Just as the bread and wine we offer in the Mass is transformed into his body and blood, so our lives are meant to be transformed through our partaking in the Eucharist.
As Jesus gave his life for us, he calls us now to walk with him and to follow him. He calls us to love as he loves, and to give our lives for others, in works of mercy and love.
We have a beautiful opportunity in these next two years, to revive and renew our personal love for Our Lord in the Eucharist and to rediscover his love for us.
Pray for me and I will pray for you. And let us pray for the Holy Spirit to bring many hearts back to the Eucharist and to Mass in these coming months.
May our Blessed Mother Mary, in whom the word became flesh, help all of us to make the Eucharist and the Holy Mass the center of our lives.