Eucharistic Encounter 16: “The Rain Stopped”

God is still in control of the weather. 

Hi everyone. This is Father Rocky in the Chapel of the Nativity at Relevant Radio in Green Bay, WI with another story about the Holy Eucharist.

I want to tell you three stories of three times I was at Mass outdoors when it rained. The first time, the celebrant of the Mass was Saint John Paul II in 1987. We were down in New Orleans for the papal trip to the United States. It was the second or third visit to the United States, and in the morning we had a wonderful youth rally with our Holy Father in the Superdome. 

In the afternoon, there was going to be outdoor Mass with a quarter-million people attending. It was swelteringly hot on September 12th, 1987. And when we got there, it started raining like crazy! I had on a brand-new tie, brand new suit, brand new shirt, and everything bled, everything got ruined. We looked like a mess. But when the Mass began, the rain stopped. 

The next time was June 18th, 1992. We were having a Mass with the Holy Father outdoors for Corpus Christi. It was raining and I thought we should just move the Mass indoors, but they kept it outdoors. When the Offertory began and the great miracle of the Transubstantiation was about to take place, it stopped raining. The sun didn’t come out, there was no rainbow, no signs in the sky. But it stopped raining.  

And then the procession took place all the way to Santa Maria Maggiore. And when the Deacon came to bring the Blessed Sacrament back into the church, into the tabernacle, the lightning flash, the thunder roared, and it started raining cats and dogs! 

I said, “How about that! While Jesus is outdoors and Holy Eucharist, God does not let it rain upon him.” 

 And the third time I saw it was back in 2002, at World Youth Day in Toronto. There must been a million people there, and before the Mass it was raining so hard it was going sideways. The wind was so strong and blew the lights off the poles. It was amazing.

Later we found out that Saint John Paul II was back behind the altar with his hands raised up like Moses, praying for the rain to stop. And guess what happened? The rain stopped! By the end of the Mass, everybody was dry and the sun was out. These are just things that I’ve witnessed.

So what’s the moral of the story? God is still in control of the weather. God is in control of everything. And God wants to give His very best to his Son, Jesus Christ.

We should imitate that too. And one way you and I can do our very best is bring a lot of friends with us next year, to the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis in July of 2024. Let’s all show up for Jesus.

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Rev. Francis J. Hoffman, "Fr. Rocky" is the Executive Director/CEO of Relevant Radio and a priest of Opus Dei.