4TH sunday of lent: THE EUCHARIST ignition talk
This week we lift up our minds and our hearts to reflect upon the greatest gift of the EUCHARIST! Today Anthony Welty explains why it is that we can have such hope in God’s love and why we can trust in Jesus’ life given to us in the Eucharist.
- Imagine being there on the day that Jesus multiplies the Loaves and the Fish. What would you think about Him and His power? Would you believe that this man can do pretty much anything? Consider too His generosity: This man is powerful and he chooses to use his power to love and provide for others.
- Jesus says “I am the Bread of Life,” this is a bold claim but it is true. How does Jesus confidence in His teaching impact your desire to believe in His claim?
- Have you ever asked yourself like the Jews: “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” It is normal to ask questions and to grapple with thinking about how Jesus’ word here can be true. It is true that “This is a hard teaching.” Are you willing to let the Spirit of God lead you to life?
- Do you at times struggle to believe? When this happens do you take time to think back on the moments of your life where He clearly was with you? Can you allow those memories to rekindle your faith?
- St. Peter said: “Lord, to who else would we go? We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy one of God.” He didn’t understand yet he chose to believe. How do you respond when you struggle to fully grasp all that is contained in the Eucharist?
- Take a moment to reflect upon your own focus and disposition when receiving communion each Sunday. As you receive Him, do you truly grasp and allow the profundity of this gift sink in?
- How does knowing that there have been scientifically proven miracles that back up what we believe about the Eucharist? Consider the fact that we receive not just any flesh but rather Heart Flesh that has undergone great duress . . . duress experienced from sacrificing for you. How might this change your understanding of God’s love and presence given in the Eucharist?
- Can you right now make a decision on a time this week that you can make an extra trip to Church to pray in an adoration chapel on in the church before the tabernacle?
MONDAY: THE EUCHARIST SPARK TALK
Rhonda Jahn shares her personal insight to how the Lord has made Himself present to her in the Eucharist.
- As disciple do you strive to be open to every opportunity that God puts on your plate to love and make a difference?
- Do you allow your reception of the Eucharist, this intense union and participation in His life, to change you and make you more Christ like? Do you let your love of Jesus flow into your love of others?
- Are you willing to give Jesus your heart, to tell Him to keep it, to transform it, and to make you more Christlike?
- Are you willing to open your heart up to the depth of the truth of God’s love for you given in the Eucharist?
- Rhonda spoke of the need she felt in her heart, a longing for time apart with God, and things changed beautifully for her when she carved out the time to allow God to reach her uninterrupted. Can you choose to make time this week to pray with God in adoration? Perhaps this idea is scary and daunting – can you set aside the fear and instead grasp on to Jesus’ outstretched hand? Can you spend time sitting in silence lovingly gaze upon Jesus and letting Him lovingly gaze upon you?
TUESDAY: THE EUCHARIST SPARK TALK
- We all take the gift of the Eucharist for granted. Pray the following prayer in order that your devotion might be increased.
- Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds hide me.
Permit me not to be separated from you.
From the wicked foe, defend me.
At the hour of my death, call me
and bid me come to you
That with your saints I may praise you
For ever and ever. Amen.
- Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
- Do you spend time before the Blessed Sacrament? If not, consider carving out fifteen minutes a week to do so. If you already do, how do you spend that time? How can you refine that time so that it leads to a deeper union with the Lord, rather than it being a time of your own agenda?
- Adoration is the precursor to the main event of actually receiving Jesus in Communion during the Mass. Viewing it through this lens, how that might change your habits or routines before Mass? For example: Can you come a little earlier to pray quietly? Can you set new family guidelines to not have chit-chat as you are waiting for Mass to begin? Can you say a formal meaningful prayer to guide your heart to enter into the mystery of receiving Jesus into your body?
WEDNESDAY: “FUEL BREAK”
Enjoy the opportunity to encounter God through today’s Wednesday “Fuel Break.” A Fuel Break is a strip of land in the middle of a forest that is cleared out in order to control a burn in the case of a wildfire. Every Wednesday you can enjoy a “Fuel Break” Guided Meditation. Rather than giving you more to think about and process, we’ll be shifting gears so that you can clear your mind and enter into a time of prayer with God. We pray that these encounters with the Lord will help control and focus the burn that God is enkindling in your heart.
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THURSDAY: THE EUCHARIST SPARK TALK
Deacon Terry Wagner shares his personal journey of loving the Eucharist in a deeper way.
- Many of us have spent years learning about the Eucharist, but so often what we know in our head doesn’t translate to our heart. Pray the following prayer to deepen your heartfelt affection for the Eucharist: Lord Jesus Christ, I feel as though I have come to know many things about you, and yet I struggle to feel connected and close to you. My desire is that you reveal to me who you truly are, and what you are truly about, especially in the gift of the Eucharist. I understand the gift of your body and blood is a mystery, but I also understand and trust that your grace will aid my eagerness to know you deeply. Please Lord, hear my prayer.
- The Eucharist is the fulfillment of many promises of God, just one of which is to be with us always until the end of the age. How do you see the Eucharist as God’s promise to always be with you?
- The connection between Christ crucified and the consecration during Mass is very real. Take some time to pray with the image below.
FRIDAY: THE EUCHARIST SPARK TALK
Today we are blessed with not just one but 2 short testimonies! Natalie and Anthony, two of our recent First Communicants share their experience and thoughts of receiving Jesus in the Eucharist.
- Can you recall when you had childlike acceptance of believing that Jesus is who He says He is? Ask the Lord to help you recover some of that childlike trust in Him.
- Reflect upon how you feel when you receive communion. If you find it to be static and ordinary, think of how you would want the experience to be. Then ask the Lord to lead you to a deeper union with Him in that moment.
- Do you know someone who no longer believes in the real presence of the Eucharist? Pray the following prayer for them. Therese of the Child Jesus, I come to you, asking that you intercede on my behalf. I believe wholeheartedly that Christ is fully and totally present in the Eucharist, but _____________ no longer believes this. I care for him/her very much, and I wish for him/her to know the deep and abiding love that is there for them in the Eucharist. I desire that they be united to Christ intimately, and that they can once again believe that Jesus desires to be close to them, particularly in this sacrament that is the source and summit of our faith. Please present my request to our Heavenly Father, and in childlike trust I will abandon all fear that he/she will never come to believe. Amen.