It’s no secret that the Church considers the Eucharist to be the “source and summit” of Christian life (CCC 1324–1327). And yet, research shows that only about a third of Catholics truly understand the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and only about a quarter of Catholics attend Sunday Mass regularly. In response to these realities, the U.S. bishops are launching a three-year Eucharistic Revival in hopes of rekindling within Catholics a living relationship with Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.
The bishops’ hope is that the revival will be a time of healing for the Church as well as an opportunity for evangelization and a reawakening of the understanding of and desire for the Eucharist. The revival will officially start with diocesan celebrations on the feast of Corpus Christi (The Body and Blood of Christ), June 19, 2022. In 2023, the focus will be on parishes and resources that will deepen Catholics’ understanding of the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
The culmination of the Eucharistic Revival will be a pilgrimage to a National Eucharistic Congress in the summer of 2024 that the bishops hope will draw between 80,000 and 100,000 people who will be sent forth as Eucharistic missionaries. The pilgrimage will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In their book, Living the Mass: How One Hour a Week Can Change Your Life, authors Fr. Dominic Grassi and Dr. Joe Paprocki share the following thoughts on the celebration of the Eucharist:
What we Catholics need is a solid connection between what we believe, how we worship, and how we live our faith on a daily basis. Making the Mass more meaningful is not simply about improving the quality of the music played, the homily preached, or the manner in which the altar is decorated (although improvement in these areas is often sorely needed!). Rather, the solution lies in growing in our understanding of God’s connection to our daily lives and how the Mass invites and challenges us to practice our Baptism on a daily basis. The solution lies in recognizing that Baptism is a commitment to a way of life that needs to be sustained and nourished by celebration of the Eucharist.
May this Eucharistic Revival enable all of us to deepen our commitment to a life of discipleship that is sustained and nourished by a deeper devotion to the Eucharist, which Jesus said is, “my flesh for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)
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