Queen Elizabeth vs. Jesus Christ
By Linda Oppelt
With the recent coronation of King Charles, I was reminded about the Saturday afternoon last September, when I spent an hour in the adoration chapel at Holy Apostles Church.
I was struck by the stunning contrast between the emptiness of that chapel and the 24-hour queue of people in London who were waiting simply to walk by the casket of Queen Elizabeth, and were allowed just a few minutes to view her casket, as she was lying in state. The line at times was up to 10 miles long!
Whereas here in the chapel is Jesus Christ, in his real, glorified Presence, as he promised, before his Ascension to the Father: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt 28:20). Yet . . . I was the only person there.
This is not to diminish in any way the respect, honor and even deep love the British people have for Queen Elizabeth, who certainly made many sacrifices for the United Kingdom and its people during her amazing 70-year reign.
But, in Jesus Christ we have the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind, who ushered in the Kingdom of Heaven and whose ultimate sacrifice burst open the gates of heaven itself. Through his life, death and resurrection we are promised eternity with our God and in love’s embrace!
Do we not love Jesus more than the British people love their monarch? Why do we not desire to spend time with him in his presence? How is it that God present in our midst, 24/7, is not constantly adored and honored with a constant queue of people wanting simply to be in his healing and grace-filled Presence available to all, for as long as desired?
Do we not comprehend the majesty, the mystery, the miracle, that we can visually see Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, exposed in the monstrance? We can pour out our hearts to him, seek his comfort and the peace that only he can give, in any of the adoration chapels in the diocese. Jesus wants nothing more than to pour out his graces to us as we sit in silence and spend time with him. These graces provide the strength to love our families, coworkers, and even our enemies.
I know that we do not need to be in any specific place to seek and obtain these graces from Jesus, but in the adoration chapel, distractions are few and our attention can more easily be focused upon Jesus and on developing our relationship with him. The more time we spend with Jesus, the more we will grow to love him and be devoted to serving him.
As more parishes seek to offer extended hours of eucharistic adoration in their churches and chapels, the main limiting factor is not enough people willing to commit to spending one hour per week in the presence of our Lord.
During this upcoming parish year of Eucharistic Revival, please consider spending one hour per week with Jesus, who loves you more than any other person on this planet! If you are too busy during the day, consider times when no appointments or activities will hamper you: 9 p.m. through 8 a.m. The middle of the night is a perfect time to spend an hour with Jesus. Jesus will provide the grace necessary to get you through the next day, even with the missing sleep that you sacrifice to be with him.
If it is not feasible to commit to one hour per week, consider signing up to be a substitute adorer, where you can fill in for the weekly adorers who need a substitute. While it is entirely voluntary to accept a sub request, it allows you the flexibility to spend an hour occasionally while helping keep the chapel open.
Two 24-hour manned adoration chapels in our diocese are located at St. Dominic Parish in Security and Holy Apostles. St. Peter in Monument, Our Lady of the Pines in Black Forest, and Our Lady of the Woods in Woodland Park chapels offer 24-hour availability. Other extended-hour adoration chapels are at St. Gabriel, St. Patrick and St. Francis of Assisi in Castle Rock. Corpus Christi has one 24-hour adoration period per week, and St. Benedict in Falcon offers extended hours on Thursdays.
(See the “Devotions” section on Page 14 for more details, and check with your parish for their adoration schedule.)