This weekend we begin the Eucharistic Revival. This three year plan has as its goal to help all Catholics rediscover our love for Jesus, truly present in Holy Communion.

The faith of the Church is that, at Mass, through the action of the Holy Spirit working through the priest, the bread and wine offered on the altar are transformed into the reality of Christ’s Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. Jesus offers Himself to us in this way to fulfill His exhortation in the Gospel of John: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you” (Jn. 6:53). 

   At Mass, what is called transubstantiation occurs. This word which, by the way, remember for the next time you play Scrabble  refers to what happens at Mass. Every object has two aspects: its substance (what it is) and its accidents (the sensory dimension: what it looks like, feels like, etc.). At the consecration the substance  what it is  changes, while the accidents  the outer appearance and taste of the bread remains the same. This allows for what appears to our senses as food, be for us in reality a means to union with Jesus Christ and nourishment for eternal life.

   Sadly, many Catholics do not believe this. Our world is so focused with what can be studied and measured that we lose sight of the inner reality of things. On reflection, we know that this inner reality  our substance  exists. After all, who “I” am as a person is more than the sum parts of my body.This revival calls us all to realize the truth that has been believed by Catholics since the time of Christ: that when we receive Holy Communion at Mass we receive Christ Himself, and when we adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament it is really Him before us.

   The revival has three stages. The first stage, which begins now, will take place on a diocesan level. Representatives will be called forth from every parish and be trained to bring the revival back to their home parishes. Next year the  second stage will begin, which will take place on the parish level. The year after there will be a national Eucharistic Congress at which, in the words of its organizers, “Catholics of all ages will come together to worship our Eucharistic Lord with expectant faith. There, the Holy Spirit promises to enkindle a missionary fire in the heart of our nation as we reconsecrate ourselves to the source and summit of our faith.”

   Let us pray for the success of this revival  in our parish, our diocese, and our country!