We can not get to know another person or develop a loving relationship with that individual unless we spend time with that person. To say that you love someone, but never visit, engage in conversation with or spend time with that person would be to live a lie and deceive yourself.
God is calling each of us to a personal and intimate encounter and relationship with Him. But how can we experience such a relationship if we do not get to know Him, or spend time with Him, or talk to Him, or lay our burdens before Him, or listen to Him, or trust Him? Just as we could not maintain our physical health by limiting physical nourishment to one hour a week, we are foolish to think that our mere presence in a Church building on Sunday for an hour can create and sustain the type of intimate spiritual relationship God offers and desires with each of us.
Oh, how He Who is love is not loved in return! He hungers to have you acknowledge His Real Presence in the Eucharist.
He desires to fill you with His peace, comfort and love. He wants you to come and lay your burdens down before Him. He wishes to strengthen you in your daily duties, trials and challenges. He longs to make you like Him and to equip and sustain you as you become more Christ-like to others.
But God will not force Himself on anyone. Each of us must freely respond to His invitation.
So let me ask you: Where does God rate in your life? How much do you love Him and how important is He to you in your daily and weekly lives? How much time each week do you think of Him and devote to Him in contrast to the time you spend caring for yourself and family, working, eating, watching television, using the computer, gambling, sleeping, engaging in sports, socializing with friends and families, participating in community programs?
Look at the 24 hours in each day and the 168 hours in each week and see how often you have anything to do with Him. For most of us, I would imagine the answer is not much. You get the point.
In many Dioceses of this country, we Catholics are blessed to have Churches in which someone is always present with Our Lord, praying 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Remarkable isn’t it? – a life-changing experience for those who (often at great personal sacrifice) spend one specific hour each week in the presence of our Eucharistic Lord; a devotion most pleasing to Him Who is deserving of our worship, adoration and praise; and the source of untold blessings to so many in our families and communities.
God has blessed our Churches with His Real Presence where He can be worshiped, adored and loved, where He changes, heals and comforts the hearts and souls (and sometimes bodies) of many. Yet few come to keep Him company or to make reparation to Him for those who do not believe in Him. Where are the courageous prayer warriors willing to get up in the early morning hours to be with Him while the rest of us sleep? How sad and lonely is Our Lord – so intimately present among us but ignored by the majority of people claiming to love Him.
Jesus asked his disciples in Gethsemane, and He is asking each of us right now: “Could you not watch one hour with Me?” What an affront, insult and gesture of ingratitude it would be to such a caring, loving and merciful God if (where it exists) Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration devotions had to be curtailed because so few of His people loved Him enough to be with Him.
Belief in the Real Presence of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is a gift from God. No one but He can give it to you. He will do just that if you trust Him enough to spend time with Him. He awaits you with open and loving arms. If you come to Him with an open heart, He will give you His! That’s His promise!
What are you waiting for? Consider this a personal invitation from the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! He will transform you, your family and the communities in which you worship, live and work.