Sitting in the church waiting for the beginning of the Mass and Eucharistic procession inaugurating the National Eucharistic Revival in my current diocese, it occurred to me that I had been thinking of the approaching three-year revival as mostly for people who do not know Our Lord in the Eucharist or who no longer attend Mass. Suddenly, the thought occurred to me that this Eucharistic Revival is not only for them but for the whole Church in the United States. And that means it is for me, as well. Rather than thinking only about how much other people need a Eucharistic Revival, my prayer changed to, “Lord, bring about a Eucharistic Revival within me.”
Perhaps this was a “take the log out of your own eye” before trying to take “the splinter out of your brother’s eye” moment (see Matthew 7:3-5). I realized that if I focused only on what I thought other people needed, I would miss out on what God wanted to give me through this time of grace for the Church in our country. After all, are we not all always in needed of a revival in our Eucharistic fervor? How could we ever possibly be close enough to our God who gives Himself to us in the Eucharist! He is infinite, so we can never exhaust the treasures of grace He wants to give us by feeding us on His own flesh and blood.
And so, knowing that the Lord wants to accomplish amazing works of grace in my heart during this time, I have begun daily to pray before Him in adoration, “Lord, bring about a Eucharistic Revival within me.”
While of course this time of revival is meant to draw to our Eucharistic Lord those who do not know Him or who have strayed from Him, such an endeavor can only be successful if those of us who do know Him are drawn even closer to Him. I think there is something deeply personal and intimate to each one of us that He wants to accomplish during this time of Eucharistic Revival. If, in the quiet recesses of each of our hearts, we grow in love of Jesus in the Eucharist, this revival will have been a “success,” no matter what numbers on future surveys might show.
Jesus is waiting for you in the tabernacle and upon the altar at Mass. He desires an ever-deeper relationship with you. He offers Himself to you completely and asks the gift of your love in return. He wants to pour His love out upon you, to fill you with His own life.
In fact, the word “revival” literally means something that gives “life again.” Through our bishops, the Lord is inviting us to receive His life again in a deeper way and to have our knowledge of, our faith in, and our love for Him in the Eucharist enlivened.
Just as the Holy Spirit descends upon the gifts of bread and wine to transform them into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, so may He descend upon us also and enkindle in us the fire of an increasingly deeper love for the Eucharist! Lord, bring about a Eucharistic Revival within each one of us!
Sr. Mary Martha Becnel is a member of the Ann Arbor-based Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.