WHAT IS THE EUCHARIST?
“I will be with you always until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
This is Jesus’ promise to His disciples (and to us) before ascending to the Father. If He was physically leaving, how could He vow to be with us forever? How can we know that God is with us today? How can we develop a relationship with the Creator of the Universe in a real and tangible way? The answer to all these questions is the Eucharist.
The word “Eucharist” comes from a Greek word meaning “thanksgiving.” Just as Christ gave thanks for the gifts of bread and wine at the Last Supper, we give thanks for His eternal and true presence to us – in the flesh – but under the appearance of bread and wine, at every single Catholic Mass. The Eucharist is not merely a symbol, or a nice gesture, or even a dramatic “reenactment” of the Last Supper. The Eucharist IS God – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.
The Eucharist is the Real Presence of Jesus Christ, just as real as the person sitting next to you. The Body and Blood still keep the outward appearance of bread and wine, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, while the “form” of the bread and wine do not change, their substance does. We call this transubstantiation (CCC 1373-77). Through the words of consecration being uttered by Christ’s priests, the Holy Spirit transforms simple bread and wine into the very flesh and blood of Jesus Christ.
Why would we believe this? Simple, we believe it because Jesus said it was so. At the Last Supper, he said “This is my Body” and “This is my Blood” (Matthew 26:26-28). At every single Mass, those same words are spoken and the same miracle takes place. In the Eucharist, God fulfills his promise to “be with us always” in the most physical and intimate of ways.
WHAT IS ADORATION?
“The worship of the one God sets man free from turning in on himself, from the slavery of sin and the idolatry of the world.” (CCC, 2097)
Did you ever wish that you had a “pause” button for life? You know, the ability to pause the really important moments so that you could more fully enjoy them? In a way, Eucharistic Adoration is a “pause button” for the moment in Mass when the priest elevates the host, the Body of Christ. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is a form of prayer that began centuries ago. The same Eucharist we receive at Mass is what (or more accurately Who) we worship in
Adoration. A consecrated host is displayed in a beautiful sacred vessel called a Monstrance. The word “monstrance” means “to show.” The monstrance allows Christ’s body to be seen and “shown” to us – so that we can be present to God as He is present to us in His Eucharist.
It is very important to remember that Adoration is a prayer that flows from the Mass; it does not take the place of Mass. During Adoration, we have the opportunity to come face-to-face with the living God. Like spending time with a close friend, Eucharistic Adoration is about deepening and strengthening our personal relationship with God.
HOW IS ADORATION DONE AT CAMP?
We’ve done Adoration different every year:
- A little Adoration time at the end of every day
- Adore-athon over night
- A holy hour during one of the evening sessions