By: Rick Hernandez
As a Eucharistic person, I often picture in my mind the time of the Institution of the Eucharist, especially when I hear the words from the Gospel according to Luke:
Remembrance? Who can have a more perfect remembrance of Our Lord than Our Lady, Mother Mary? This is not difficult to see. For her, remembrance meant the whole of her life with Jesus, every moment, every thought, every feeling, all the instances of motherly life.
For Mother Mary, remembrance is alive, true love in action, moments of joy, but also of sadness. Her time with Jesus really defined the meaning and purpose of her life. The wholeness of her life, via her most perfect humility, was her sublime offering to God the Father; that along with her opening to the Holy Spirit and her caring for Our Lord Jesus, she also offered her life to mother the Church across all of time... What a mission!
Our Lady knew we were not orphans, neither fatherless nor motherless… not then and not now.
Saint Peter Julian Eymard gave Our Mother Mary the title of “Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament.” How beautifully insightful this title is. From that first Mass in the Upper Room, Our Lord Jesus kept being with Our Lady in the same way that He is now with us.
That is what the title of “Lady of the Blessed Sacrament” means for us, the perfect example of the Eucharistic life in Christ for the Church. The perfect example of what it means to remain in Him who loves us. Perfect, intimate union achieved in the Eucharistic communion.
Saint John Paul II writes in his Encyclical “Ecclesia Eucharistia”:
I like to think Mother Mary was the first one to know Jesus in the flesh, before us, one with Jesus Eucharistic. As Mary is, so we are called to be, one with Our Lord… What a great example is Our Mother…
Today, so many of us struggle with recognizing Jesus in the Eucharist. Is it because we have not seen? Well, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (John 20:29).
If we are called to truly recognize Jesus Eucharistic so that we may believe, should we not ask Mother Mary for help? The Blessed Virgin Mary knows the way.
Our Mother Mary patiently waits for us to seek her counsel. She is the Mother of Good Counsel. She holds the key to many Graces for us, for she is “Full of Grace” (Luke 1:28). We only have to ask...
Mother of Mercy and Mother of Grace …Through Our Mother, we access Jesus’ Mercy and partake of His Grace.
Mother of Hope and Virgin Most Faithful …Through Our Lady, we access the fullness of Hope. We learn fidelity at the foot of the most faithful of the faithful.
Refuge of Sinners and Comfort of the Afflicted …The first adorer, Mary, teaches us, sinners, how to commune with Christ. As Mother, she comforts us, takes us by the hand to Jesus.
Mary accepted us as her children out of love and obedience to her Son, Our Lord Jesus. That is yet another yes from her, another fiat. Mary’s whole life, up to this moment, even today, a fiat. A fiat for you and me… From Mother Mary’s fiat, what is it that we have available to us?
I remember hearing as a child that Mary was the “Fountain of Grace.”
A fountain does not produce water; the water comes from somewhere else, but the fountain uses the water to create beautiful displays and to help combat thirst. Such is Our Lady, full of grace.
Mary takes the many graces from Our Lord and displays them in the fullness of her beautiful life, an example to be followed, and yet, out of her love for God and us, she also distributes the graces so that we may not wilt. In this, as in everything she does, Mother Mary points to Our Lord Jesus. If we open our hearts to her, our Mother accompanies us on the road home, on the path to Heaven.
Let us then open our hearts to our Mother because where she is, is where we are called to be.
As we continue on this month of May, the month of Our Lady, let us take time and meditate on the life of Mother Mary after the Ascension of Our Lord, guiding the early Church.
Gentle Mother, faithful servant, fearless general, Fountain of Grace. Our Lady has a great many titles, the greatest one being “Mother of God,” but I like to think that, as she looks upon her children in the world, her sweetest one is “Our Mother.”
Let us pray:
By: Laura Catherine Worhacz
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
The month of May comes with so many blessings. Every day we rejoice in the gift of Our Blessed Mother, yet especially, we honor and invoke her in May. She is our Mother, Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
Mary is the first to live in a pattern of prayer in our Church. She shines forth what sacrificial love will expect of us. Mary watches over our lives with motherly affection and embraces us through our prayer. Our rosaries offered connect us to the fruit of her womb. We celebrate Mother’s Day in remembrance of Mary; we thank you, mom.
The daily scriptures during the Easter Season have been building us up in hope. We are inspired by faith, given grace to be poured out to allow God’s life to live through us. The above excerpt from St. Peter Julian goes deep within.
Who inspires us?
Jesus, why are we here before You in the Blessed Sacrament?
Why are You here?
Why are we here together?
Jesus will fill our hearts, ”May he give you the desires of your heart” ( Psalm 20:4). Jesus teaches us all things, how to live and move and be. Immersing our prayer into the sacrificial love Christ offers us from the Cross helps us find our center. Knowing we are so loved by God allows us to live in forgiveness, in return for Christ’s love.
Jesus is here for us, in a humble piece of bread; He teaches us to become one in His person, to abide in His love. There have been so many times I have knelt before the Blessed Sacrament, carrying the weight of the world. Instantly, hope transforms the burdens into a silent conversation with the Lord that soothes, clarifies, and guides us to peace.
Why are we here together? We are the Body of Christ.
After leaving our adoring time, who do we rely upon this side of Heaven?
Who can depend upon us? Is there a center of love in this life?
The Blessed Sacrament at the center of our lives forms us and inspires us to be what Jesus is to us for others. Rejoice! What do we rejoice in? I rejoice in the gift of my faith, in the blessing to know Jesus Christ truly present in the Blessed Sacrament.
My husband, daughters, my entire extended family… My sisters in Christ, my brothers in Christ…The gift of our Blessed Mother, who loves us beyond telling… St. Joseph... This is the Kingdom of Heaven, and it is with us now in the Eucharist. Upon our reception of Holy Communion, we are in Heaven while on earth.
Our world was left a mark of faith from Mary, forming the center of her life through Jesus. She rejoices in carrying out God’s will by helping her children live in the same pattern of prayer through the heart of the Eucharist.
People far from the faith or receiving without hope may need to see our compassion and love to know Heaven is real. The divine reality of Eternal Life will be upon us. Burdens, sadness, and sorrow are real; loss comes with a heartache God alone brings to light. May our Eucharistic Adoration bring Heaven to Earth so others may be removed from despair and REJOICE.
We all have obstacles preventing us from fully receiving the love God wants to give us, sins that block the flow of grace to us. The life of a Christian is one long process of restoration. Our Father constantly invites us to give every part of our lives over to Jesus so He can redeem our brokenness, every wound, every sin, and transform us into Himself. The process is long and often painful. We need to learn to trust Him with the parts of our hearts that have been trampled on, hoping that His promises are true… That He is the way and the life, that He is the Truth, and that the TRUTH will set us free.
When we tell God, “please come into my life, please take away this sin that is hurting me, that is hurting those I love,” He comes right up to that wall we spent so much time building up, that wall that is keeping us from feeling the pain we are not ready to deal with…and he knocks. We hear Him calling; we want to let Him in, but we cannot find a door. There was a door there once, but we sealed it shut. In trying to keep the pain away, what we did is block ourselves from receiving the only thing that can heal us…the love of God.
This encounter with Truth is a moment of tension. On one side of the wall, we are trapped, oppressed, burdened by our sin. On the other side is God, calling us to come to Him, asking us to let Him break down the wall. But we are attached to the wall. It has become our comfort, our support. And even though it hurts us, it is scary to think it won’t be there anymore. What will happen to the parts of us that are attached to the wall? How will we get through the pain of that separation, of that stripping away of all the things we placed as substitutes for God? So God patiently waits and lets us wrestle with Him until we reach the point of surrender and finally say,
Mary, who had no walls between her and God, silently offers these words with every breath of her life. Never is that silence more eloquent than when her heart speaks them at the foot of the Cross. It is there that her Immaculate Heart is pierced open with pain for each one of us, her children. It is there where she brings us when we hold her hand in prayer, to a place of encounter with Her Son.
Today, as we begin the month of May, the Church invites us to walk with Mary, “our life, our sweetness, and our hope.” It also lifts our eyes to St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse. Pondering on this Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, we see that the rest found in God is not one of inactivity but one of life and creativity. We find rest when we take up His yoke. We find rest when we surrender to God.
With Mary, at the foot of the Cross, we find the strength and courage to surrender. It is there where we find our rest. This rest is not something we can provide for ourselves; it is the gift He wants to give us. And, although we live in the hope that one day we will be in a place of eternal rest in Heaven, where there will be no more sorrow or pain, we can experience His peace while we are still in this valley of tears. At the Last Supper, Jesus says:
What did Jesus leave us during the Last Supper? The Eucharist, the gift of Himself …His Body broken for us… His Blood poured out for us…
We know how the story ends, so we give thanks. We know the promises are fulfilled; we know the tears are wiped. When we look at the Cross and see the price paid for us, we hear Him say to each one of us:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”
There is no reason to despair; no part of you is broken beyond repair.
You are worthy of restoration. “Come to me… and I will give you rest.”
By: Rick Hernandez
One of my many memories from childhood is when my family visited the bioluminescent bay called “La Parguera” in Lajas, Puerto Rico. For those of you that do not know, a bioluminescent bay’s waters light up at night. It is such a beautiful sight. There are many glass-bottom boats where you can see the greenish hue of bio light shining as the boat cuts through the water at slow speed. It shows our eyes that there is life, actively fighting the darkness of the deep water.
I was fascinated by the fact that the waters of the bay would light up. Water emitting light! From my limited life experiences, I could not grasp that concept at all. I had seen water all of my life, and none before did that; therefore, that water must have been extraordinary. I wanted some of that water…
But then, I remember my dad explaining that it was not the water itself lighting up but what was “in” the water, microscopic organisms generating light via biological processes. I could not see the microorganisms doing that, but I could see the end result of their effort… Light!
I want to be able to see Christ in us, His beloved people, for that is a big part of our call. We are created to be like Christ, to be His hands and feet in this world. When I see the good and the faithful acting His love for us, I see Christ’s light actively overcoming the world’s darkness. Like John, with our lives, we testify to God’s light. We witness to His good.
We must illuminate the way towards Him by shining with His light. Nowhere is there a better example of this than in our most precious Mother Mary, for Mary is to Christ as the moon is to the sun. The moon does not have its own light but perfectly reflects the sun’s light, so much that it brings light amongst the darkness of night. We are to be like Mary, actively shining with His light.
For those who do not know Jesus, the light of His love present in His faithful must be a mystery. Yet people are attracted to the light! Like my father did for me, we must be prepared to explain again and again that it is not our own light that shines through but that it comes from the One who loves us. Let us help them get closer to Christ. Point the way to Him.
Christ’s light shines whenever we share from His banquet, whenever we share of His love, His hope, and His faith. We are to do this “Just so, your light shines before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:16).
We must be aware of His gifts that we receive. At the end of every Mass, especially united to our Lord Eucharistic through Communion, we are sent to share His grace with the world. Apostles!
As we continue on our journey home to Heaven, do we testify to the light of Christ? Like Mother Mary, are we shining His light?
Let us pray:
Lord, your love for us is ever-present, and you know us perfectly well. Help us to be as your light in this world. Help us to let your love for us be readily apparent, that the ones seeking you may also come to know you through your actions in our lives. Let it be light! Amen.
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We are Ivonne J. Hernandez, Rick Hernandez and Laura Worhacz, Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and brothers and sisters in Christ.
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