Come Let Us Adore Him
“Make frequent visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and the devil will be powerless against you.“ ~ Saint John Bosco
“To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it?“ Jesus asks rhetorically in the latter stages of today’s Gospel (Mark 4:26-34). He goes on to liken it to a mustard seed that, although the smallest of seeds when sewn into the ground, springs up and becomes the largest of plants. With vivid imagery, he speaks of the large branches that grow forth from it, branches that allow the birds of the sky to tranquilly dwell in its peaceful, cooling shade.
This would appear to be an apt metaphor for how God works within each of us. He begins with the very small and crescendos to the very great, employing a very precise, methodical and exacting process. “God tends to operate under the radar,” suggests Bishop Barron, “on the edges of things, quietly, clandestinely, not drawing attention to himself.”
C.S. Lewis speaks to this principle. How, he asks, did God enter history? “Quietly, in a forgotten corner of the Roman Empire, sneaking behind enemy lines. How was European Christianity established? Through the handful of people that listened to St. Paul in Philippi and Athens. How did the mighty Franciscan movement come to be? One odd, mystical kid who heard a voice coming from a crucifix: ‘Francis, rebuild my church, which is falling into ruin.’ A handful of followers joined him in his quixotic project, then dozens, then hundreds, then thousands.”
This should encourage all of us to do small things at the prompting of God. Plant the seed, make the move, take the risk...take even the smallest of steps. Sow the seed and leave the rest to the mercy and providence of God.
In the New Testament we read of the of the elderly hemorrhaging woman who knew she could be healed if she could do so much as simply touch the hem of the garment of Jesus as he walked past. Each time we approach Jesus to receive his precious body and blood, we can bearken back to this woman in doing so, we know that Jesus is uniting his body and blood to our body and blood to make all things new, a promise he makes repeatedly throughout the New Testament.
Through the Holy Eucharist we can begin to discern the origins of these planted seeds and subsequently begin to pursue our destined course, Jesus’ vocation for us, keeping in mind that the revelation process may unfold slowly and unpredictably. Take Jesus’ hand and allow him to dictate the tempo with full and total confidence that he will lead you precisely to where you need to be. Or more importantly, where he needs you to be in order to cooperate with him as you fulfill your role in this mystical journey.
Eucharistic Adoration, as the quote which kicks off this reflection uttered by the man whose Feast Day we celebrate today, is a powerful tool, when partaken of liberally, as well. The Gospels recount the tales of those who encountered Jesus as he walked the dusty roads of Galilee. Many if not all of them had their lives changed dramatically, and forever. Wise and prudent Catholics still come face to face with Jesus by way of Eucharistic Adoration, wherein they gaze upon him in the form of simple bread contained in a gilded and jewel studded vessel called a Monstrance.
Nonbelievers will tell you that you’re wasting your time, that you’d be better off logging on to Facebook and arguing over how awesome (or horrid) the Super Bowl halftime show was, or trying to convince a complete stranger from the opposing political party that you’re right and they’re wrong. Yet those who count themselves among the ardent faithful that spend quiet time in Adoration, doing so with frequency and fervor, will tell you they their lives have been changed, much like the hemorrhaging women referenced earlier, or the centurion (Mark 8:5-13) or even the men who encountered Jesus on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). Modern society is of course at times very superficial. There is nothing superficial about going to church and sitting or kneeling for an hour before the Blessed Sacrament. No one would do that unless they believed wholeheartedly that the Monstrance placed atop that altar contained the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.
Of time spent in Eucharistic Adoration, Saint John Paul II once said "in this silence of the white Host, carried in the Monstrance, are all His words; there is His whole life given in offering to the Father for each of us; there is also the glory of the glorified body, which started with the Resurrection, and still continues in Heavenly union." He went on to say "Jesus wants you to do more than to go to Mass on Sunday. Our communal worship at Mass must go together with our personal worship of Jesus in Eucharistic adoration in order that our love may be complete."
Acquaint yourself with the peaceful tranquility that comes from time spent in Eucharistic Adoration. You might soon come to recognize it as the best part of your day. It will certainly be the most peaceful, meaningful and possibly even life changing time spent.
“Oh come let us adore him...”