Good Shepherd came down from
“Jesus opens today His Eucharist Heart”
of St. Anne de Beaupre,
"That all of people of Israel say with conviction: this Jesus whom you have crucified, God made of Him the Lord Jesus Christ"
Dear adorers, dear friends,
The countdown towards the 49th International Eucharistic Congress has begun. In two months we will be in the middle of celebrating the theological Symposium that immediately precedes the great Eucharistic week, June 15-22. On this Sunday of the Good Shepherd, what could be better than to gather together the adorers, who carry the intentions of the Congress in a special way. We anticipate many graces that God wants to multiply over all the Church and especially on ours during these blessed days.
What could be better than to finish this day of resource by the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the act of supreme adoration that unites all believers of the Pascal mystery of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Adorer par excellence that makes the world enter into His adoration of the Father through His Cross and His Resurrection. The Acts of the Apostles witnesses that the Church lives and proclaims the mystery since its beginning: this same Jesus that you have crucified, God made of Him Lord and Christ. The Apostle Peter announced this message to the people, just a few days after the great events of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus. Many were converted by this message. They believed, were baptized and received the gift of the Holy Spirit. We are of those who believe in the message of Easter and who keep to the Word proclaimed by the Apostles.
This is why we unite each Sunday for the Eucharist, in order to remember the marvels that God accomplished in the life, predictions, miracles, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All of events speak of the Good Shepard who gives His life for His sheep. The Good Shepard came down from Heaven to find and save His lost sheep. He calls each by name and He opens the door to the pasture. "I am the Door for the sheep. I came so that men would have life, and have it in abundance." I am happy that the diocese of Quebec gave birth over 25 years ago to the movement of the Sheep of Jesus, which cultivates and spreads the spirituality of the Good Shepherd. It is a beautiful jewel of our Church that could inspire and uphold all other movements. I encourage the children, the adolescents and the adults to take an interest in this spirituality of the Good Shepherd, so that He will give all the fruits of evangelization and vocations.
In this Sunday of the Good Shepherd, we pray especially for vocations to the priesthood and to consecrated life. By our baptism, we are all called to sanctity in Christ Jesus. We are all called to the perfection of love in following the footsteps of Jesus, Who gives Himself in love for our salvation. Some receive a special call from Jesus to espouse a style of life, a voluntary poverty, with consecrated virginity and radical obedience to the Will of God. These are the religious; different forms of consecrated life and priests who have the mission to announce the Word of God, to sanctify their brothers and sisters by the sacraments and to govern the people of God.
Our prayer for vocations, today, concerns the specific vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life and it takes the form of this day of renewal for adorers of the Blessed Sacrament. It is then a prayer of adoration, in thanksgiving for the gift of particular vocations. It is also a prayer of supplication to obtain new vocations and to form them well according to the Spirit of Jesus. I confide to you in particular, 20 young adolescents who have just inscribed at the diocesan Small Seminary of Quebec that we are reforming to assure the renewal of the priestly life in the diocese. It is a beautiful promise and a sign of hope that we should hold and support together, with the grace of God and the intercession of St. Anne, St. Joseph and all the Holy Family.
Dear friends, let us turn now to the Great Priest par excellence, to the Unique Mediator, Jesus Christ, Who invites us to participate in His act of Eucharistic adoration. The sacramental act in which we participate contains His offering of love to the Father on the Cross for all of humanity with God by His sacrifice. His resurrection is the response of the Father to His offering; and it is the proof that His offering was accepted. This is why we are sure that the Mercy of God vanquished sin and death. Thanks to the merciful love of the Father for the Son, we are confidant of being pardoned and to have access to divine life, without merit on our part. Know to thank God in adoration and prostrate ourselves in front of the Eucharistic sign of His living Presence.
Brothers and sisters, we are for the most part familiar with Eucharist adoration. We benefit from this grace for our own sanctification but also give birth to the mission of adoration of our diocesan community. In the name of this community, permit me to confide in you especially the ministry of Eucharistic adoration. I ask you to remain faithful, humble and patient, even if there is no encouragement given from those around you. Many have lost the sense of Eucharistic adoration, even among the priests, consecrated persons and theologians. Do not be discouraged by negative comments or disobliging remarks that could demobilize you. Keep your faith alive in the Resurrected Christ who is truly present with His Body and Blood. Continue to witness the love of the Church that kneels before her Lord and who rests at His feet, as Mary of Bethany did, to listen long and to adore in silence.
Some people are afraid that the practice of Eucharistic adoration takes away from the celebration of the Pascal mystery and the social mission in the name of the Resurrected Lord. The contrary is true. Eucharistic adoration, even outside of the Mass, helps to keep the real sense of the Mass and revive the flame of the social engagement in the name of faith. I can see how the parishes that have adoration chapels are in general the most dynamic and apostolic. I invite those who are concerned about the orientation of the Eucharistic Congress to re-read the theological document on the base of the Congress and the pastoral letter "For the life of the World" that I have just published to explain the meaning of the Eucharist. You will discover that the place ‘par excellence’ of Eucharistic adoration is the celebration, (of the Holy Mass) and that the engagement for culture and social solidarity is a part of the necessity for the Eucharist. If sometimes their reticence signifies that the Eucharist is not the base of a convivial repast in remembrance of Jesus and that adoration does not have a place, I invite them to ask themselves if their vision of the Eucharist is still Catholic. I am convinced that the missionary vigor and the social implication of Christians only have strength if they are rooted in the adoration of the living Christ, really present in the Holy Eucharist. May the Congress help to make the prejudices fall in this regard and reanimate the social engagement of the faith and Eucharistic adoration.
Jesus opens today His Eucharist Heart, as He opened it to Blessed Dina Belanger and Mother Julienne of the Rosary. Born in the love of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the Congregation that receives her, lives a spirituality centered on the Eucharist. In her religious family, Dina finds the response to her profound aspirations. For Dina, the expression of the love of Jesus attains its summit in the Eucharist, effusion of tenderness, and in the flowing of the Infinite in the finite. The Eucharist is the fire that consumes all. It is the sun of each day. Her prayer is apostolic, confided because before all was Eucharistic. Dina had only the desire to satisfy the Infinite with the riches of the Infinite Himself: to offer Jesus to the Father. Could she use more perfect offering? In this Eucharistic current, Dina leaves us a sublime prayer: Here is the Infinite Jesus! By the Heart of the Immaculate Mary, by the inflamed breath of your Creator Spirit, I offer You myself. Rich with the Infinite Jesus, she is audacious:
He gives us His Body and Blood by the ministry of the priest so that together, in Love, we may offer to the Father a response to His infinite love. The Father is pleased to receive the offering of His Only Son from our hands. He is profoundly touched and in return He sends us His Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Love, by His Holy Communion. What a marvel Holy Communion is! It is the summit of adoration, Heaven on earth. A marvel that is unfortunately unknown and forgotten by too many people. We need to ask forgiveness to God for the infidelities of our people in their covenant with Christ and offer fervent adoration in reparation, in response to the generosity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Dear brothers and sisters, adorers, thank you for being ardent flames that burn with love for God in the sanctuary of the Church. Thank you for your burning hearts that go towards the world to encounter all of its needs of love. Thank you for proudly bearing the flame of the International Eucharistic Congress of Quebec, like a light announcing to the world the joyous news of the Good Shepard who gives His life for his sheep.† Marc Cardinal Ouellet