El Báculo del Obispo: El camino de tres años del Avivamiento Eucarístico
Behold, I am making all things new” (Revelation 21:5). My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, The Church in the United States has begun a three-year renewal process called "Eucharistic Renaissance."
We are going to dedicate the next three years to listening to the Lord and allowing him to renew our lives through the love of God “encapsulated” in the Eucharist. More than a new program or a series of initiatives, we are invited to personally encounter the very presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Through this, the Lord wants to renew his people from him so that we can bear witness to this love in the world.
The last few decades have been very difficult for the Church. The Body of Christ has been broken by scandal, division, confusion, and constant pressure from a culture that is indifferent and often hostile to the Church. But God is not indifferent to these wounds. Rather, in his Divine Providence, he gives us this time to allow him to bring healing and renew our lives. This is a moment of great hope! I am so excited to see what the Lord has in store.
The first year focuses on leadership throughout the Diocese responding to the Lord's invitation to renew our sense of vocation to serve Jesus and his Church. This is a time to discern what the Lord wants, reestablishing the habits of prayer and discernment that will help us better hear the Lord's call. Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, sat at the feet of Jesus and listened. We are invited to do the same.
For example, the Catholic Pastoral Center is offering Eucharistic Adoration for staff to get away and be with Jesus. I very much hope that this will inspire all our efforts and help them to be even more fruitful.
An important goal is to make Sunday the Lord's Day again. We have to claim the Sabbath for Jesus! Sunday worship and rest are a gift from God. He wants us to go to him and rest. Sometimes we see the observance of the Lord's Day strictly as an obligation or a burden. The command to keep the holy Sabbath actually protects our freedom. By saying "yes" to God, we say "no" to those other minor things that clutter our lives. The Lord's Day puts a limit on those other things that can quickly enslave us and bring more stress. Let's recover Sunday for God.
This year will also be a good time for our priests and deacons to speak about what the Church desires in the Sacred Liturgy. The Eucharist unifies the Body of Christ. The Mass, especially, should be highlighted as a sign of unity among the people of God. This is an important time to consider how the liturgy of the Church faithfully proclaims our faith in the Eucharist and brings about true communion in the People of God. Please pray for this conversation. The Mass is very important. I pray that our hearts are open to what Jesus asks. The Mass does not belong to any of us. It belongs to Jesus.
We hope to end this first year of Diocesan Renewal in the Eucharistic Revival with a great Procession and Eucharistic Congress. Please keep your calendars open at the beginning of next June. We will be able to give more details about it in January.
On the Solemnity of Corpus Christi next year, we will begin to focus on parish renewal. We will continue the habit of listening to Jesus in prayer and work to spread the fruits of the Diocesan Renewal. There will be more discernment about how the Lord wants that year to be. At the end of that year, each of us will be intentionally invited to go out and live the missionary character of the Eucharist in our local communities. The word “Mass” essentially means “go”. Renewed by the graces that the Lord has given us, we hope for a lasting renewal for the Church here in America.
These years of Eucharistic Rebirth are a true gift from the Lord. He has already given us the best and most necessary gift, his Son. And Jesus has left us the memorial of our salvation in the Eucharist. The Lord calls us to deepen the faith, knowledge and love of this gift.
I invite all Catholics in our Diocese to regularly spend time with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Ask the Lord to heal any hidden or obvious wounds in your life. Ask him to give you his rest and his peace. Ask him to grow in you that faith in the faithful presence of the Lord in the Eucharist. Ask him to help you live that same gift in every part of your life. Please also pray for those you help lead this Eucharistic Revival.
More information and content will be made available regularly in the Colorado Catholic Herald and other diocesan and parish media outlets.
I am grateful to Jesus for giving us this invitation to be renewed by the Eucharist. I am excited to see what he wants to achieve in us in these next three years!
(Translated by Luis Baudry-Simón)