Emmaus Road Experience
And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, He took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him; and He vanished out of their sight. (Lk 24:31)
“How much need modern humanity has to rediscover the source of its hope in the Sacrament of the Eucharist,” the Pope said. “I thank the Lord because many parishes, alongside the devout celebration of Mass, are educating the faithful in Eucharistic adoration. And it is my hope that - also in view of the next International Eucharistic Congress - this practice will become ever more widespread."
My question is how do we encourage Eucharistic adoration? If many Catholics no longer recognize Jesus in the "breaking of the bread", will they be drawn to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament? I don't know what comes first here. Perhaps the practice will stir the faith or is it vice-a-versa? I belong to a fairly large parish, but the once a month First Friday Adoration is sadly not well-attended. Maybe if there is more preaching and teaching about the Eucharist?
As a young Catholic, before I left the Church for 30 years, it totally escaped my notice that Christ was physically present before me on the altar at Mass. If I truly listened to the liturgy as it was being prayed, I should not have missed it. What was I thinking when the priest held up the Eucharist and said "this is Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to his supper?" What was I thinking when I saw the priest genuflect as he opened the tabernacle, when he kissed the altar that heaven would come down upon?
Unfortunately, in my case familiarity must have bred contempt, or I intentionally turned myself off to the offer of His grace in the Mass. Or the "witness" of the nominal Catholics around me blinded me. Or maybe it was just my sin and my refusal to see Him as those in scripture who turned away and no longer followed him. We need to pray that more folks will have an "Emmaus Road Experience." Funny thing, it took me thirty some years to come back and recognize "Jesus in the breaking of the bread" and it occurred in the town where I now live...... Emmaus, Pennsylvania.