12-17-2017Weekly ReflectionMatt Henry, Director of Music & Liturgy

As director of liturgy, my job is to advocate for the sanctity and efficacy of the Mass; to limit obstacles to our worship and advance opportunities to enhance worship; to honor the Church’s profound and meaningful history and traditions; to highlight the beauty, sanctity, and real presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. The Eucharist is the center of the Mass: God truly present in the consecrated Body and Blood of our Lord.

Our parish offers perpetual adoration: the opportunity to spend time with the real presence of Jesus in the adoration chapel. As director of liturgy, I want to invite you to consider investing in a Holy Hour each week, so that you can continue to build a closer, more intimate relationship with Christ through adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This relationship will spill over into the Mass and enrich our liturgy and enhance your worship.

“I believe that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Holy Eucharist.” If this statement is true, and we have a relationship with Jesus, we should want to spend time with him, face to face, one on one, regularly.

View your relationship with Jesus like that of your family or friends (and, yes, Jesus is THAT real). There is a certain level of satisfaction that can be gained through postcards, emails, or other correspondence. There is a greater level of connection and satisfaction derived from phone calls. But the greatest and most fulfilling interactions occur when we meet them IN PERSON! How can we meet with Christ in person? Simply visit our adoration chapel. If we believe Jesus is TRULY present in the Blessed Sacrament, it’s that easy.

The adoration chapel is a quiet place. When I took up my Holy Hour, this made me nervous. Anyone who knows me, knows I need to move around, sing, whistle, talk, etc. I’m a mover and a shaker, literally. I did not believe that I could handle a whole hour in quiet. I thought an hour of silence would feel like an eternity. In reality, it goes by incredibly fast—shockingly fast. I say “Hi” to God, pray a rosary, have a conversation about what I’m grateful for and what I want help with, read a little bit, try to listen, and “Bam!” it’s over. I leave feeling refreshed, renewed, and refocused. My head is clearer, and I am calmer and more focused.

Committing to a specific Holy Hour is important, because as human beings, we are flawed. Having the commitment to a scheduled hour each week helps us be accountable in building the prayer into our routine. Life will often present us with excuses for why we can’t commit. The feelings of “I’m too tired” or “I’m too busy” are going to happen. When I go to my hour feeling busy or overwhelmed, I find that my stress dissipates, and my resolve is renewed. I face the tasks at hand better having reminded myself that God is with me. Committing to a weekly hour helps me fight past the excuses and get to my hour with Jesus.

However, life is messy. When events present themselves which prevent you from attending your Holy Hour (illness, family trips, etc.) there are dedicated adorers who can assist you in filling your time as needed. There are also leaders within time blocks and coordinators who can help you if you have difficulty finding a substitute. All you need to do is contact them and communicate in advance.

Through my experience with my Holy Hour, I have realized an important truth – God is always talking to us. ALWAYS! We are often too loud or too busy to listen and hear. God speaks in whispers. His voice is in the gentle breeze. When we train ourselves to recognize His presence and quietly listen for His voice, amazingly…we hear it! I have yet to leave a Holy Hour without some new focus, new insight, new direction. I always feel better and I feel closer to God the Father, the Holy Spirit, and especially Jesus Christ.

Thus, through adoration we gain a closer and more intimate relationship with Christ. Our participation as a parish in Perpetual Adoration also has a very important impact on our community and world. By providing perpetual adoration, we can offer access to Christ in person to everyone! Because of our parish’s commitment to have perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Jesus is always present and available for people in their time of need.

I was aware of that this past Thursday during my Holy Hour. There were eight people in the chapel! Only two of us were scheduled to be there, so during that time, six other people were able to come in, give thanks or ask for help, and hopefully find Jesus. This would not be possible without perpetual adoration.

However, for our parish to have perpetual adoration, we must have at least two dedicated weekly adorers for every hour of the week. We must agree to never leave Jesus alone in the chapel – not even for a minute. We do this to show honor and respect to the real presence of Christ and to be His protectors against desecration from evil forces. It is also for our mutual safety, as we protect each other against potential harm. Currently, there are numerous gaps in our schedule that need to be filled—for Christ, for each other, and for the community and world. [Editor’s Note: Please see for a list of the hours most in need of committed adorers.]

So, for yourselves and for others, will you answer the call to take up one Holy Hour each week? If you are not able to say yes right now, will you make at least one visit to see what Jesus has to offer you in our chapel? Our Lord, Jesus Christ, has given us the invitation and the opportunity. Go see Him and when you do, tell him Matt says, “Hello!”