PEREZ: Eucharistic Revival - What the kids of today urgently need - Part 2
September 26, 2023
Daniel Cardinal DiNardo celebrates Mass at Sacred Heart Parish in Conroe. (Photo by James Ramos/Herald)
Editor’s Note: This part two of a two-part series. Part one was featured in the Sept. 12 issue and can be read here.
This gift which we receive personally also makes us one with others. We become truly unique and diverse and play a part in the body of Christ. We also live in a world of such division based on language, race and other factors. The Eucharist makes us one body with Christ. We are truly part of the same family, and God is our Father. In the Mass, all are welcome, no matter their age or race, social economic status or brokenness. All are one; we share one faith, one Lord and one Baptism. The Eucharist helps us see Christ in the poor. As St. Teresa of Calcutta witnessed, the more they adored Jesus in the Eucharist, the more they became able to see Him in the poor.
We must teach kids that the Eucharist enables them to live Christ’s life and that Christ lives in them. By receiving the Eucharist, we remember our own identity as children of God as anointed in Christ, called to love as He loves. Mass helps us remember our true identity when the world wants to make us reduce our humanity, take on a superficial identity and judge ourselves from the outside looking in. We need to show young people to find strength in communion with the One who loves them and is with them in Holy Communion. He truly reveals the human person to Himself (cf. Gaudium et Spes #22) and gives us meaning to love as He loves and not only to focus on ourselves in a vain way but instead become a gift to others.
We pray young people can fall in love with Christ the Bridegroom, and remember we are in a covenant. “This is my blood of the new covenant” (Mt 26:28). He has given everything. He is calling us to give ourselves back to Him. Following Jesus is not easy. We easily want to impress others or follow the world. But we remember our goal is Heaven.
As we walk through this life, if we are authentic and follow Jesus’ teaching, we will need the Eucharist; we will long for this heavenly food in the desert. His love will strengthen us to be able to bear the cross for Him and follow Him when it is not popular. The Eucharist strengthens us with the hope of Heaven.
Lastly, our world is in such need of mercy. People see a lot of division and fighting, people being rude and treating each other so rudely online. The Eucharist will help us go to the source of mercy and become merciful. This is because the Eucharist makes present Christ’s sacrifice offered to the Father. His sacrifice is truly present for us now to bring healing and forgiveness of sins. It is the most powerful prayer.
Our hurting world needs the Eucharist so much. Young people need to see the Mass as a fountain of mercy. It is a place to pray for our world and unite our sufferings to the sufferings of Christ at every Mass. Mercy is poured out, and we are blessed, consecrated, united to Christ, and sent out to bring Christ’s love, which we experience in the Eucharist to others who are in need. The Mass is how to be plugged into God’s great mercy and love in the Eucharist.
So, in conclusion, this year of the Eucharistic Revival, let’s experience being touched by Jesus in the Eucharist and share this treasure with our youth in catechesis and parents teaching their children. I encourage you to go to Eucharisticrevival.org to see the resources and how to be a leader in your parish of the revival and possibly start a small group.
Now is the time to spread the Good News and invite people to Adoration, to Mass, to experience that Jesus is truly here for us and He is our friend who longs to hear the cries of our hearts and speak to us.
Father Victor Perez is pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church and St. Stephen Catholic Church in Houston. He is also one of two Eucharistic Preachers from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.