The popular Christmas Carol O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fidelis) reminds us to come and adore the Lord Jesus. Commonly, Christians gather around the Nativity scene, crèche or manger at Christmas to adore the Christ Child. Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first nativity scene in 1223 (a "living" one) intending to cultivate the worship of Christ. The scene's popularity eventually inspired communities to create ever more elaborate static exhibitions with wax and ivory figurines garbed in rich fabrics set against intricate landscapes.
While we may gather around statues or figures reminding us of the Christ Child and His birth into our world, I think that it is even more essential to recognize His Real Presence found in the Most Blessed Sacrament. It is most important that we come and adore Him who is truly present on our altars and in our tabernacles.
Many years ago, when I was in still in the college seminary, I came across an article written by Archbishop Fulton Sheen relating how he used to make a Eucharistic Holy Hour (before the Blessed Sacrament) every day of his life. He said that while he was praying before the Blessed Sacrament he felt he was being transformed like Moses was when he prayed to God on Mt. Sinai:
As Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands, he did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant while he conversed with the LORD. When Aaron, then, and the other Israelites saw Moses and noticed how radiant the skin of his face had become, they were afraid to come near him. (Exodus 34:29-30)
When we come into the Lord’s presence, Jesus can do something to us. We may think that we go to pray, to petition and to worship, or even that we are doing God a favor by spending some of our precious time with Him. Our Lord Jesus, however, can transform us while we spend time with Him. We do not need to worry about what prayers we should say, what spiritual readings we should be reading or what we should be doing in His Presence. Just being with the Lord can be transforming. He can soften our hearts, heal our wounds, inspire us and guide us. He can give us an inner peace that nothing in this world can match. Making the commitment to spend time with Him can truly transform us.
So why not think about spending some time with Him weekly? You are invited to come and adore the Lord.
What will your R.S.V.P. be?
Fr. Ed Namiotka