Dear friends in Christ,
Just as the Magi embarked on a mysterious journey, we too begin the journey of this new calendar year. Think of the many people across the Mediterranean world who must have seen that brilliant star shining on the horizon. Most probably looked at it in awe for a moment or two before continuing with their usual schedules. Yet the Magi recognized that something unique had happened, and they were willing to drop everything to see what that something was! They traveled a great distance across rugged lands – and they were not disappointed. The one they found was the newborn King of the Jews and the savior of the human race!
Often, the roads we travel are rugged and dangerous. Indeed, really setting out to follow Christ means dropping everything – our preconceived notions, our vices, our normal patterns of behavior – in order to embrace the newness of the Incarnation.
As you may know, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has initiated a major Eucharistic Revival. This Revival will consist of various elements at the parish and diocesan level and will culminate with a National Eucharistic Congress from July 17-21, 2024 in Indianapolis. That may seem a long time away, but there will be much spiritual preparation for it beginning in 2022.
I invite all of us to begin this preparation by participating in our parish Forty Hours Devotions coming up January 23-25. Please see our bulletin, website, Flocknote, and Facebook for service times and for a portal to sign up for an adoration time. I also invite you to view the USCCB Document “The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church,” a great teaching document which lays out the profound mystery of the Eucharist and what belief in the real presence demands in terms of our own ongoing conversion. Such a journey of conversion can indeed seem risky, but like the Magi, we can go confidently, knowing that Christ the Lord accompanies us always.
Happy New Year!
-Father Eric Banecker