Adoration: We Were Made for This
Fr. Ed Benioff - Added on Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Bible tells us to honor our parents. It also says we should honor civil and religious authorities. And, as good Christians, we pay those people the respect they’re due.


But there’s a kind of honor we must give only to God. That’s the honor of adoration, or worship.


God made us for the sake of worship. We’re fulfilled when we worship him. And if we don’t give adoration to God, we tend to look for other objects of worship. We take things that are good and we make them into gods.


Our hobbies become obsessions. Or our career goals. Or our looks and fitness. Or the attention we give to our favorite music or entertainment.


Hobbies and careers and fitness are all good things. But they shouldn’t be the focus of our lives. We should be thanking God for them — not making them into gods.


One of the great things about the Catholic faith is the practical way it helps us to fulfill our nature. We find fulfillment in adoring God, and so God took flesh in Jesus Christ, whom we can look upon and touch (1 John 1:1).


The Church gathers for the adoration of Jesus in the Holy Mass.


The Mass engages everything we have — hearts and hands and voices. We sit, we stand, we kneel, we sing, we shake hands, and we do it all to honor Jesus, the Son of God. In the Mass, Jesus becomes truly present — body, blood, soul, and divinity — under the appearance of bread and wine.


The Mass also makes possible another form of adoration. We worship Jesus as he is abidingly present in the tabernacle of the church — or as he exposed in a special vessel called a “monstrance.”


The word tabernacle comes from the Greek word for “tent.” It describes the special cabinet-like furnishing where the Eucharist is reserved in a Catholic church. The tabernacle is usually accompanied by a candle called the “sanctuary lamp.” When the lamp is lit, that means that Jesus is present, and we may adore him.


The word monstrance comes from a Latin word that means “display.” A monstrance is designed to hold and display the consecrated host of the Eucharist. When we see Jesus in this way, it is proper to kneel and to give him the worship of adoration.


A growing number of parishes and other Church institutions are sponsoring times dedicated to Eucharistic Adoration — hours or entire days when people can come before the Lord for extended periods of prayer and worship.


When Catholics actively take up the practice of adoration, good things follow — renewed parishes, conversions to the faith, vocations to the priesthood.


In the Mass and in Eucharistic Adoration, Jesus consents to be revealed for worship. Why? So that people can find true fulfillment. So that we can grab a little bit of heaven in our most ordinary days.


The very definition of heaven is to live in God’s presence and adore him. And that’s what we do when we approach the monstrance or the tabernacle in our churches.


People say that “heaven can wait,” but why should we wait for heaven, when we can start to live in a heavenly way right now?


Do you know the nearest place where you might go to Eucharistic Adoration? How often do you suppose you should go?

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