WAYS TO APPROACH EUCHARISTC ADORATION AND THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT

In Hebrews 12:2, we are enjoined to “Keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the Cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right-hand side of God’s throne”.
The idea of fixing our ryes on Jesus is so simple that even a young child can understand it. As you kneel or sit before the Lord, call to mind your favourite images of Jesus. You may like to see him with his Blessed Mother, perhaps in their home at Nazareth or at the wedding feast of Cana. Some enjoy seeing Jesus at the transfiguration, radiant with God’s glory as he talks with Moses and Elijah. Others prefer to see him feeding the five thousand or healing the woman with hemorrhage. Two popular images of Jesus held dearly to most people’s hearts are the crucified Christ and the risen Lord seated at the right-hand of his Father seated in glory.
As we fix our eyes on one of these images and focus our attention on Jesus in the Sacrament, a couple of things happen. First the distractions of normal life, with all its responsibilities, problems and demands, fade away. Secondly, we begin to feel as though we have entered into heaven. We feel as if we too are “seated” with Jesus “in the heavenly world” (Ephesians 2:6).
We get a taste of what it would be like when there would be no suffering or pain, when we will be reunited with all our loved ones, and when every hope and dream of ours will be finally fulfilled.
Listening for His Voice
In (Ephesians 1:17), St. Paul’s says: “I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him”.
As we fix our eyes on Jesus in this way, something marvelous begins to happen. The Holy Spirit begins to open our minds and fill us with Spiritual wisdom and understanding (Colossians 1:9). We begin to grab more about Jesus: what he did for us, how much he loves us, how merciful he is, how much he rejoices with us and suffers with us.
Words from the scripture that previously had little or no meaning begin to come alive. They enlighten our minds and urge us to be holy. They convince us that we have God’s strength to help us and to make us more fruitful for Jesus!
Then comes the best part. Whatever we learn and understand moves us to love Jesus more. When we grasp who he is and what he had done for us, our only response is to say, “Jesus I love you”. We fall in love with him all over again, and his love in turn calms our fears, heals our wounds and energizes us with hope and confidence. Those who find this intimacy have even felt Jesus putting his arms around them and holding them close to his heart.
Overcoming the World
John addresses us in 1 John 4:4, “You, my dear children, are of God and you have already overcome these people, because the one who is in you is more powerful than he who is in the world”.
Another work of the Holy Spirit that frequently occurs as we adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is directed towards the obstacles that block our way to God. St. Paul calls these obstacles “strongholds” that are raised up “against the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
As we kneel before the Lord, we begin to hear the Holy Spirit gently tell us that perfection cannot be united with imperfection. He admonishes us that in Christ, we have been made holy, and that we should now live as the holy man or woman he has made us to be. Suddenly, we find God’s mercy and power working in us, helping us to take these strongholds captive and demolish them one by one, over time. We find God’s grace working in us, convincing us that we can overcome everything that separates us from him.
As we are moved to repentance and confession, something inside of us (yes, it is the Holy Spirit) infuses us with a divine conviction and power. After the adoration, we leave convinced that we can stop sinning and we find a new and greater ability to say “no” to the temptations that assail us in the course of our day.
Building God’s Kingdom
Writing to the Colossians, Paul prayed, “May your lifestyle be worthy of the Lord and completely pleasing to him. May you bear fruit in every god work and grow in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10).
Like every parent, our heavenly Father has the perfect happiness of every human being in the forefront of his mind. Happy that we have come and spent time in Jesus’ presence, he also gives us a taste of his sadness. If we look at Jesus long enough and closely enough, we can see him weeping over all the pain and suffering in the world today. We can see him mourning over all the sin. We can see him weeping over all those who reject him or have never heard of him. The pain we see in the broken heart of Jesus moves us to take up his call. Adoration before Jesus moves us to say: “Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:8). It convinces us that our life with Jesus is about personal holiness and about being his light to everyone we meet.
The Holy Spirit wants to use our time of adoration to open our eyes to the needs of the poor, to the despair of uneducated, to the loneliness of the unevangelized and to the suffering and fears of the sick, the forgotten and the homeless. The Spirit wants us to love Jesus to the point that we feel compelled to serve him.
Opened Eyes
To those who have never sat before the Lord in this way, Eucharistic adoration can apparently be a waste of time. But to those who tasted the goodness of the Lord, adoration has the power to move us closer to Jesus. Come to think about Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman, described in John 4. At the very beginning of their conversation, Jesus told her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” (John 4:10)
In the same manner, Eucharistic Adoration is not about our giving Jesus a drink by giving up our own time to be with him as much as it is about our coming to Jesus and asking him for a drink. It is about presenting our needs to the Lord and asking him to fill us up with heavenly grace and heavenly power and heavenly wisdom. It is about receiving all that we need to live in him and for him in this world.
The more we fix our eyes on Jesus, the more we appreciate how much he goes out of his way to reach us. When we come and meet him in adoration, he shows us just as he showed the Samaritan woman that he wants to be our Lord, our Saviour and our friend. As our eyes are opened we will take his advice and ask him for a drink of his living water. And we will never be the same again!

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