It’s been a little over a year since the launch of the National Eucharistic Revival, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ response to what they saw as pain, isolation and sorrow resulting from the most foundational needs—“The Church needs healing. And the world needs Jesus.”
This effort was launched as the world was still reeling from the devastating impact of Covid-19, partisan factions that grew increasingly divergent, and overwhelming rates of depression, anxiety and addiction. Since then, this grassroots revival of the “devotion and belief in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist” has included widespread Eucharistic processions and adoration, prayer, fasting and more. Inspired by the need for healing, the Church is drawing people back to the source and summit of our faith—the Eucharist. Through this revival, the Church hopes to restore and renew the knowledge, worship and love of Jesus Christ.
The importance of this sacred mystery is at the very heart of Archbishop Vigneron’s Unleash the Gospel pastoral letter emphasizing it as the very heart of our evangelization efforts. What are we evangelizing for if not to bring people to Christ in the Eucharist?
“In the Holy Eucharist we reach the summit of our participation in the victory of Christ over sin and death—the triumph we proclaim in the new evangelization. In this Most Blessed Sacrament we have the source of our zeal and strength to unleash the Gospel.” (Marker 3.4)
“Evangelization leads to the Eucharist, since the Eucharist is the fullness of communion with Jesus and his whole Church. On the other hand, the Eucharist leads to evangelization, since our ability to announce the Gospel springs from the passion and resurrection of Christ which is made present anew in the Eucharist.” (Marker 3.4)
“By the Holy Spirit’s descent upon the Blessed Virgin Mary, the eternal Word has taken on flesh: the invisible God is now able to be seen with our eyes, heard with our ears, even touched with our hands (cf. 1 Jn 1:1). So in this age of the new covenant the Creator communicates himself to us through the created means he himself has chosen. In our efforts to unleash the Gospel, we proceed with the firm conviction that the Holy Spirit brings about life-changing encounters with the Lord Jesus in his Mystical Body the Church, particularly in fellowship with one another, in Sacred Scripture, in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and most especially in the Holy Eucharist.” (Guidepost 3)
“God relates to his people not as isolated individuals but as a people, a family, united with one another in deep bonds of love (Eph 4:1-6). We learn to give and receive God’s love in and through our relationships with one another. As St. Augustine taught, when we say “amen” before receiving Holy Communion, we are saying “amen” not only to Christ the head, but to all the members of his body. So profound is this communion that it endures beyond death: we have fellowship not only with the members of the Church on earth but with the saints in heaven, who are cheering us on and helping us draw closer to Christ.” (Marker 3.1)
“The Latin liturgy traditionally ends with the words Ite, missa est: “Go, she is sent.” At every Mass the Church—that is, all her members—are newly empowered and sent forth to bring Christ into the world. Through the Eucharist we become stamped with the pattern of Christ’s own self-giving love so that we can reproduce that pattern in our own lives. Thus the goal of the liturgy is never just to receive the sacrament and go home; it is to become a living tabernacle through which Christ is made present to others.” (Marker 3.4)
“The members of our local Church need to be regularly rekindled in “Eucharistic amazement” by preaching and catechesis that helps to deepen their understanding and faith in this immeasurable gift and moves them to make a gift of self in return. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, since it brings people directly into the presence of Jesus, is a powerful means of revitalizing a parish and equipping it to transform the culture.” (Marker 3.4)