By: Laura Worhacz
"Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted and you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." Luke 2:22-32
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
Today we celebrate the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. This celebration is one we too may rejoice in by offering our lives to God, Our Father. We may have little offerings, like that of doves given to take flight, or more extensive gifts, each precious to God. For the past two weeks my husband and I have been in NYC preparing for his upcoming liver transplant surgery. What was surreal has now been made real. Raymond may be terminally ill but with hope. I imagine Mary, Our Blessed Mother, experienced the same reality when she and Saint Joseph brought Jesus to the Temple. Here she brought the joy of their lives to the Temple of God to hear a voice that informed her that her heart was to be pierced. Words that reminded Mary of why the Holy Spirit overshadowed her and life was placed in her womb, Jesus' redemptive suffering. The Holy Family stood firm in their presentation of the child Jesus in the temple. They remained in a stillness knowing they were beheld by the love of God. This love of God enabled them to take the child back to Nazareth and continued to LIVE.
Raymond's suffering has brought a message of what is to come for many. We have met doctors, nurses, care-takers and guides in the hospital over the course of these past weeks. The faith Raymond and I have placed in the Eucharist through our reception of Holy Communion is taken with us each day. We were able to present ourselves to God every morning at Holy Mass, receive our Jesus, and go forth into the world, our Nazareth, and LIVE. Being in NYC hearing about laws that allow full term or any term babies to be aborted remind us, God's children, of the work of redemption that is still at hand. Gender neutral bathrooms all over and all other sorts of mass confusion call us ever deeper into the mercy we have been given and are called to extend to clear up the smog that is around us.
A sword may pass through our souls through this earthly life; suffering may befall us. All of this is a holy reminder that we have been born into our eternal glory through Baptism. Saint Peter Julian Eymard was given the grace to keep his senses keenly aware of Heaven. He knew that Heaven already existed in the Blessed Sacrament. This reality drew him daily to stay close to the Bread of LIFE. Saint Peter Julian held sacred his Baptismal day, February 5th. He renowned his Baptism greater than the day of his earthly birth. With this reality the surreal pains that become real to us will be transformed from anguish into hope, from sadness to joy. We are on a Eucharistic mission with our precious Lord Jesus, Son of the Living God. Called to participate in the redemptive suffering that is offered to God again and again in the presentation of our lives in the Temple. We are not alone. The Communion of Saints and Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament accompany us. Let us give thanks like Anna the prophetess and continue to speak about the "the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem."
May we keep the gift of the Blessed Sacrament in the deep recesses of our being so we may profess the joy and hope of our eternal salvation to all whom we meet. May our Lady present our lives to God. She is our good mother, with St. Joseph by her side.
We are blessed this side of Heaven. The Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple/Candlemas/ light for the world to see through our lives in Jesus. Have a Blessed weekend in the Lord.
Please pray the prayer to Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament remembering your consecration promise:
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament
Blessed are you, Mary exalted daughter of Sion!
You are highly favoured and full of grace, for the spirit of God descended upon you.
We magnify the Lord and rejoice with you for the gift of the Word made flesh, bread of life and cup of joy.
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, our model of prayer in the cenacle, pray for us that we may become what we receive, the body of Christ your son. 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.