I Want Jesus

It seems Mass with my almost two-year-old has me spending the majority of the time in the back of church. I find myself allowing her to exercise some of her energy, while I try to still fully participate in the liturgy. With all of my children I have always pointed to the elevated host as the bells ring during Consecration, whispering “Jesus” in their ears. Praying that this gesture will imprint on their hearts and minds the True Presence of Our Lord. As I picked up my daughter to re-enter church for Holy Communion, she squirmed and squealed. As I made the sign of the cross after receiving the Eucharist and proceeding to walk away, she exclaimed, “Hey, I want Jesus!”

During these weeks following Easter many parishes celebrate the Sacrament of First Holy Communion. There is great excitement and anticipation as these young children long to receive Our Lord, so much that my eight year old couldn’t sleep the night before. The joy is almost palpable, witnessing them come forward to receive Jesus for the first time.

Over time the holy desire that we once had when we received Our Lord for the first time can fade away, our hearts may become lukewarm and we find ourselves going through the motions. It almost becomes routine and more of something done out of habit. We become distracted by our children, our work, our leisure and materialism of the world. During this season of Easter and new life, it seems like the perfect time to renew our knowledge and love for Our Eucharistic Lord.

Currently, the church in the United States in is the midst of The National Eucharistic Revival. This is a three year initiative from the U.S. bishops which launched June 19, 2022 to renew and restore Eucharistic devotion. In just a couple of short months, the National Eucharistic Congress will take place in Indiana. Tens of thousands will gather for talks, Mass and worship to grow in their love and devotion of the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

For many of us it may not be possible to attend the Eucharistic Congress, but we can still make it a time of renewal in our own lives and for that of our families. Perhaps, it is organizing a special Holy Hour at our parish, with confession, talks and worship. Maybe it is something simpler, listening to audio recordings and reading books from the saints that awaken our hearts to Jesus in the Eucharist.

During this Eucharistic Revival let us ask Our Blessed Mother to pray for us, that at every Holy Communion we would receive her Son with the same joy and awe that filled her heart as she cradled the Christ child for the first time. And again, to receive Him with the same ardour and love that moved her to tears as her crucified Son was placed in her arms for the last time. May our hearts always cry out, I want Jesus!

“If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion.” -St. Maximilian Kolbe

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Cassie Everts serves as Contributing Writer at Relevant Radio. She is a wife, mother, author and speaker. She is the co-author of Nursery of Heaven and blogs at Everyday Ann. She holds degrees in Theology and Communication Arts from Franciscan University of Steubenville.