REFLECTION: ADORATION OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST
4th Sunday of Lent
March 13-14, 2021
Adoration of the Holy Eucharist is a sign of devotion to and worship of Jesus Christ who is present body, blood, soul and divinity under the appearance of the consecrated host, It is an extension of the Eucharistic celebration of the mass. Our participation is an expression of our love, gratitude, thanksgiving and our duty to worship Jesus in a public and/or private ceremony.
When it first became an extra liturgical practice is hard to pinpoint. It may have been customary for the neophytes to adore the exposed Blessed Sacrament for eight days following their baptism. There was a slow development of the custom of paying visits to the Blessed Sacrament. King Louis VII of France requested the veiled Blessed Sacrament be exposed in the Chapel of the Holy Cross as an act of thanksgiving for victory. The Feast of Corpus Christi is a special day of adoration and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Solemn practice became comparatively general only in the fifteenth century.
When exposition and adoration continues uninterrupted for one hour, it is called the Holy Hour. The concept is based on Matt. 26:40. When the disciples were asleep in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said to Peter “So, could you not watch (keep awake) with me one hour”? A partial indulgence is granted the Christian faithful when they visit the Blessed Sacrament for the purpose of adoration; and when this is done for at least half an hour, the indulgence is a plenary one under the norms of indulgences.
Other than the Mass, this is the only other devotion and worship of Jesus that brings me into His Presence in a one-to-one relationship even though I’m in the presence of others. The silence after prayers helps me to focus on that relationship and to listen to whatever He brings to my heart, mind and soul. Most of the time I’m doing all the talking, but here, I just sit back and listen.
What appears before us, on the table of the Lord (altar), is the Bread of Life from Heaven (Manna), Jesus Christ, Son of God, who provides for us a heavenly Paschal banquet, the marriage feast of the Lamb. COME LET US ADORE HIM!