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A Corpus Christi ‘Q & A’

Archbishop answers questions on the Eucharist, Adoration

In the silence of Eucharist Adoration, clarity comes, and the heart can listen to God and what He wants.

“In moments of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, all the fuzz in my head just settles down. My heart starts to hear Him again. The Eucharist for me, what I experience through the eyes of faith is the same Jesus who walked the earth 2000 years ago,” Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon said as he shared a testimony about the impact of Eucharist Adoration and devotion to the Body of Christ at the Corpus Christi Mass, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, May 30.

He added, “Many times when I am sitting before the Blessed Sacrament and it would come to me, ‘this is what I want’, ‘this is what I ask’ and sometimes after the Eucharist there is this warm fuzzy sense God is with us”.

He was responding to a “personal” question about his own experience of the Eucharist and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and if Jesus spoke to him.

Spiritual edification took a different form than the usual homily. Clergy concelebrating the Mass mingled among the congregation who were directed by the Archbishop to form groups and chat about what questions they always had about the Eucharist.

From his experience he disclosed, “Today I just felt sitting before the Blessed Sacrament, sometimes we don’t get to where you are at in the preaching and today, I just wanted to get where you are at, to the questions you have”.  Leading up to this important observance of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Archdiocese encouraged deeper devotion through Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and knowledge of the Eucharist with a 33-day journey. Matthew Kelly’s book 33 Days to Eucharistic Glory was used for reflection.

The congregation heard that Eucharist— ευχαριστία in Greek—means thanksgiving. Archbishop Gordon stated that it is “the highest thanksgiving we can give to God.”

The Eucharist recalls the Last Supper is not simply a memory.  He said in the ancient paschal celebration, memory was reenactment. “When we celebrate the Mass, it is as if we were there on the night He died, when He took bread and blessed the bread. That’s why we believe every time the priest celebrates the Eucharist, Jesus Himself through the actions of the priest is transforming the bread and wine into the substance of Himself,” he said.

Other questions on the day included whether the Eucharist is everlasting, the purpose of the Eucharist at Mass, and the most reverent way to receive the Eucharist, on the tongue or in the hand.

Archbishop Gordon stated for the first 200 years of the Church, the Host was received on the hand then it was acceptable to receive it on the tongue. He mentioned that at the Last Supper, the Bread was received on the hand.

“The Church says we can receive either on the hand or on the tongue but what is most important, make an act of reverence before you come to receive…and a sense of who you are receiving”.

On the question of what happens when people die after receiving the Body and Blood, he said people became what they ate, “He becomes integral to us in our bodies”.

Benediction followed the Mass and a liturgical procession around the city in which the sacred Host was carried. Parishes across the country had processions through the streets witnessing their faith in the Blessed Sacrament. —LPG