Every Tuesday our parishes come together for a few hours of prayerful meditation and adoration in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Exposition of the Eucharist begins after the 8:00 a.m. Mass and continues until 1:00 p.m.
Adoration is the first attitude of man acknowledging that he is a creature before his Creator. It exalts the greatness of the Lord who made us and the almighty power of the Savior who sets us free from evil. Adoration is homage of the spirit to the "King of Glory," respectful silence in the presence of the "ever greater" God. Adoration of the thrice-holy and sovereign God of love blends with humility and gives assurance to our supplications. -- Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2628.
Eucharist as the Source & Summit of our Faith
The source of our faith is Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. The life of Jesus is wrapped up in the Holy Mass that we celebrate every Sunday. There we learn about Jesus' story, his teachings, and the way he still is active today in our lives. During the prayer of thanksgiving (Eucharist), we remember a God who dwelt among us in the person of Jesus. He established the eucharistic meal as our spiritual and physical sharing of communion with God, as a foretaste of the communion we will have together in heaven. Jesus is the source of all that we do in love. From the Eucharist we are nourished for the journey, sent out to make the world holy by our daily decisions, and we return each week to renew ourselves in Christ to do it all over again to the day we die.
The summit of our faith is Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. There is no greater glory in store for us than that which is provided by God. Our frail bodies do not yet show the state of our souls. We look beyond our bodies and dream of the glorification Jesus promised us who are baptized. We remember the glory of the transfigured Jesus, Moses, and Elijah atop of Mount Tabor. We believe in the resurrected Jesus who conquered death, walked through walls, ate fish with his disciples, and ascended to the Father, promising to take us to himself after our own death. The communion with God that is promised to us is revealed, even if only as a foretaste, in the Eucharist. There is no greater pinnacle of the spiritual life here on earth than to share in the communion given by Christ. It is the summit of our faith that will one day be revealed in glory but is still overshadowed with symbols of simple bread & wine. We believe that at Holy Mass, the priest has been ordained to stand in the person of Christ, to call down the Holy Spirit over the bread and wine, to use the words spoken by Jesus at the last supper to change them into the body & blood of Jesus. We transcend space and time, entering into the very life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. He takes over, offering himself for us to the Father as a single sacrifice of love for our sins. This same God then invites us to share in the eucharistic meal of Jesus' sacrifice. "Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those who are called to the supper of the Lamb," says the priest. And we reply in union with the words of the centurion, "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed." -- "The Body of Christ ... Amen." -- So, too, will it be when we reach the summit of heaven.
We believe that the Eucharist is Jesus' body and blood, soul and divinity, present to us in what appears to be bread and wine. This is why we reverence the Eucharist so much. We keep a reserve of consecrated hosts in a tabernacle at church, so that the sick may be brought holy communion during the week, and so that our devotion outside of Holy Mass may continue in Jesus' presence. We genuflect (get down on one knee) when we enter church, to reverence Jesus' presence. We bow before the altar when we pass by, to show that we reverence where God's presence comes down to be with us during Holy Mass. And, we even display the Blessed Sacrament upon the altar in a monstrance, so that we may adore him outside of Mass.
For more information: Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) #1322-1419; especially 1324, 1377.