By: Laura Worhacz
“Mary would have wished to be reduced to nothing, as it were, before this Divine Majesty in order to offer Him all due honor and praise.” - Saint Peter Julian, (Eymard Library Volume 6, page 119)
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
In perfect love there is no fear (1John 4:18). Saint John reminds us of this, he attests to the words as the beloved. John is faithful, the one who learned how to love by resting his head on the heart of Christ. It seems St. John recognized that perfect love died on the Cross, was freed from all pride and humbled to death. I have been going to daily Mass for the past twenty years of my life, yet when I read my own words, I wonder if the reality of Christ’s life for my salvation penetrates to the fullness of the reality that He died for me. Jesus died for each of us so personally. In the silence, we find the presence of God’s love, it fills us… Our faith sets fire to our prayer, it longs for love more and more, and it continues to seek. The love we find in Jesus enforces our freedom to serve and we find the grace of God there, our peace and happiness.
In the Eucharist, the beating heart of Jesus Christ is alive and with us. We have nothing to fear this side of Heaven. In the will of God our lives are missioned to bring light and goodness, to serve. Through our baptism we are born into this life. How can I help you Lord? What will You have me do to serve You? How can I love You? We find answers to these questions in one glance over our shoulder. The knock on our door, the text on our phones, the call!
We need the Blessed Sacrament to free us from all anxieties. When we are obedient to our prayer, we realize God is right there. All we are experiencing is with Our Savior; He longs to be with us and consume all our debts as we serve with Him. In perfect love there is no fear. Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament loves Jesus perfectly, fearlessly. Mary is the one who made it possible for St. John to stand at the foot of the Cross. Mary is with us too at the foot of the Cross, hoping for our courage to overcome our weakness, our submission over our wants, our trust over our empty promises, and our love to ever deepen for Jesus.
Lord Jesus, help us fearlessly proclaim the Mystery of Your love. Let us be like Mary, reduced to nothing so the Divine Majesty is honored and praised.
By: Ivonne J. Hernandez
“As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples” (Mt 9:0-10).
I think this was the first meeting of the TCA (Tax Collectors Anonymous) support group. Matthew’s behavior after his encounter with Jesus must have changed radically. I think perhaps these other sinners, who had known Matthew for a long time, could not recognize him now and decided to come to his house and see who this Jesus person was. Maybe some of those men were there to satisfy their curiosity, but I am sure that those who were there seeking the medicine that healed Matthew, received it, and went home a different way. When we allow God’s mercy to transform us, our story of redemption brings others to Christ; it shows the world that “nothing will be impossible for God” (Lk 1:37).
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners” (Mt 9:13). The Bible does not tell us what Matthew was thinking right before his encounter with Jesus, but he must have been looking for something. Maybe he was struggling with the consequences of his choices, wondering if there was a better way to live, when he heard the words, “Follow me”. Matthew responded to the call. He rose up from the depth of his misery; he left his past behind and followed Jesus. And as he followed, he pointed the way for others.
As Christians, or followers of The Way, we have a responsibility to bring others to Christ. I wonder what would have happened if Matthew thought he was “fine” and that he could figure a way out of whatever was bothering him. Would he have even looked up from his ledger to notice Jesus passing by? Would their eyes have had the opportunity to meet? Whatever is going on in our lives, we are called to rise above our misery, lift up our eyes, and encounter Mercy himself. And then, as we experience God’s mercy and allow it to transform us, we must let the way we live our lives point the way and bring others to Christ.
By: Laura Worhacz
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
The Triumph of the Cross of Jesus Christ, our victory over sin and death. Take a moment to think of the darkest time of your life. In this memory imagine yourself crawling to the Cross of Christ. Look up, see what God has absorbed for the love of the world. We see Jesus who loved us more than life on earth. It is at the foot of the Cross where we are sanctified, transformed, redeemed. We know many of those darkest hours have worked for the good in our lives. They seem to condition us for the greater crosses that will come and to teach us to love and shed off our old selves; this is a lifelong process.
In the First Reading of today’s Scriptures, Moses has a bronze serpent high on a pole, “and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.” (Num 21:4b-9). We are so blessed to have the foot of the Cross to place our hearts and the inner recesses of our being.
Quiet time allows us to encounter reality. God longs for our silent union with Him to identify with all He has allowed to happen in our lives. We invite it in… coming face to face, heart to heart with our life, child to father. In the quiet we see our gifts and graces. In the silence we see the faults, failures and the dark times. We look up at the serpent, the bronze serpent, we let go, and let God live and move and have His being in us.
“…so must the Son of man be lifted up” (Jn 3:14). The Triumph of the Cross of Christ continues to bless the children of God. The Monstrance is too lifted, in the Benediction the utterance of Our Father’s love is found. “For God so loved the world” (Jn 3:13-17).
By: Ivonne J. Hernandez
“God our Father, …Sustain all those who hunger and thirst for you without knowing it, through the same Christ our Lord, Amen.”
As I prayed the Liturgy of the Hours with the Church this morning, the words above seemed to echo through time and space. I often think of how the prayers of those who came before me (parents, grandparents, godparents) have sustained me and helped me get to the place I am today. But this prayer expanded my awareness to see that I must be grateful for the whole Church who, from the moment of my Baptism nurtured me with her prayers and motherly care.
As we care for a limb suffering from poor circulation, so the Church cares for all the members of the body, especially those who are in danger of falling away. Every day, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered, and echoing through time and space we hear the words: “May the Lord accept this sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.”
We are truly One Body in Christ. Just as what is good for us is good for the whole Body, what is bad for us is also bad for the whole Body. Sin is never individual; when we sin, we hurt ourselves, and when we hurt ourselves, we hurt the whole body. Our sin slows the flow of grace (or cuts it off completely in the case of mortal sin) to the whole section of the body that we are directly connected to and does not allow it to function properly. These dysfunctional relationships affect us all in one way or another. If we want to effect change in the world, we must act within our circle of influence, and that circle begins with our own hearts.
As I sit here today and see all the work left to do to make my heart a true vessel of grace, I take comfort that the same Church that nourished me and brought me to where I am today, will continue to sustain me and bring me to my true home one day. May the Lord give me the grace and joy of seeing there with me all those He gave me here, that in the midst of the mess that all of our dysfunction and sin bring, we may bear our crosses together and glorify His name…”for our good and the good of all his holy Church”.
We are Ivonne Hernandez, Rick Hernandez and Laura Worhacz, Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and brothers and sisters in Christ.