Tuesday, May 21, 2013

“The Time is Yours”

Dear Parishioners,

Back when Andy Reid was still coaching the Philadelphia Eagles football team, he would often conclude his post-game press conference with the following phrase:  “The time is yours.”  In other words, he gave the press a chance to ask some questions and he made himself available to them after his chosen remarks were completed.

This got me thinking about prayer.  (Oh yes! The Philadelphia Eagles and most Philadelphia sports teams usually need lots and lots of prayer, but that is a discussion for another day!)

Consider this.  Sometimes we may approach prayer with our own set agendas.  We may seek out God because we want something or because we feel moved to pray for someone.  Perhaps, we pray because we sense some sort of obligation to recite various prayers that we may have committed to memory long ago.  Perhaps, we may enter prayer frustrated, doubtful, confused, lonely or even afraid.  Quite often I think we would like to tell God just how He should be running His world.

How often, however, to we go to prayer to just be there and listen“The time is yours!”  I am giving you my time Lord, so that you can speak to me.

I believe that there is a certain efficacy, and that it is a unique privilege that we, as Catholics, have to pray before the Blessed Sacrament.  I pray with the Lord, in His presence, because I believe that He is truly found in the Holy Eucharist.

I share with you some thoughts on this matter  by our last two popes:
In a world where there is so much noise, so much bewilderment, there is a need for silent adoration of Jesus concealed in the Host.  Be assiduous in the prayer of adoration and teach it to the faithful.  It is a source of comfort and light, particularly to those who are suffering.  
Pope Benedict XVI, May 25, 2006, Address to the Clergy of Poland

I heartily recommend to the Church’s pastors and to the People of God the practice of Eucharistic Adoration, both individually and in community.  (67)  
Pope Benedict XVI, February 22, 2007, Sacramentum Caritatis, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation

The Church and the world have a great need of Eucharistic worship.  Jesus waits for us in this Sacrament of Love.  Let us be generous with our time in going to meet Him in adoration and in contemplation that is full of faith and ready to make reparation for the great faults and crimes of the world.  May our adoration never cease.  
Pope John Paul II, February 24, 1980, Dominicae Cenae

Pope Benedict XVI also clarifies an objection that was widespread at the time (of Vatican II) where it was argued that the Eucharistic bread was given to us “not to be looked at,” but to be eaten:

In the light of the Church's experience of prayer, however, this was seen to be a false dichotomy. . . . Eucharistic adoration is simply the natural consequence of the Eucharistic celebration, which is itself the Church's supreme act of adoration. . . . The act of adoration outside Mass prolongs and intensifies all that takes place during the liturgical celebration itself. Indeed, "only in adoration can a profound and genuine reception mature.  And it is precisely this personal encounter with the Lord that then strengthens the social mission contained in the Eucharist, which seeks to break down not only the walls that separate the Lord and ourselves, but also and especially the walls that separate us from one another." (66) 
Pope Benedict XVI, February 22, 2007, Sacramentum Caritatis, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation

By a continual growth in the love of and devotion to Jesus Christ truly present in the Blessed Sacrament,  we as individuals and as a parish family have a unique opportunity to give our time to the One who gave His life for us!

Fr. Ed Namiotka

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