If you’ve ever been to Eucharistic Adoration, you know that it’s an intensely personal experience; it’s an encounter that’s hard to put into words. It’s an opportunity to pour out your heart to Jesus as He pours His love into yours. It’s a chance to reflect, to listen, to praise, to honor, and – most of all – a chance to simply be with the One who loves you the most.
There is something uniquely special that happens when this intensely personal experience happens in community, especially when that community is over 5000 people who approach the opportunity full of hope and expectant faith.
As Jesus entered the arena, everyone knelt. And when the monstrance was placed on the altar, we all knelt in silence, which was stunning – considering that most of our participants are teenagers. It’s the part of the conference that blesses me the most…thousands of teenagers in silent prayer. It was a silence that spoke volumes. Love, honor, faith, reverence. Adoration.
“What have you gotten into that has made you forget that you belong?”
This quote sums up the entire message that Noelle Garcia conveyed to the conference this evening. What struggles have caused distance between us and Christ? What has made us forget that He loves us and longs for us to live in relationship with Him?
Noelle, after sharing some crazy stories about her family, brought to mind another story. The raising of Lazarus. Jesus went to Judea and was told by Martha that Lazarus was dead, and even blamed Jesus for not being there sooner. After this, Jesus told Lazarus to rise and exit his tomb. And Lazarus did just that.
Mary Sophia from LEAD is a parishioner at Mary, Mother of the Church in the Archdiocese of St. Louis where she is a member of the parish youth group. She recently graduated from Mehlville High School, and in the fall she will be a freshman at the Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Tonight we had the privilege of hearing her share about the first time that she let God into her life. In 8th grade, during a time of deep personal struggle – her mom had been diagnosed with cancer – she started to resent God, and thought that He had forgotten about her.
Fr. Mike started his talk with a question that is asked by most people, “How do I get to Heaven?” He then said that most people believe that good people go to Heaven when they die, but that is untrue.
Fr. Mike gave us this scenario: If you die and are standing before God and He asks, “Why should I let you into Heaven?” What would you say? “Because I am good.” or “Because I go to Sunday Mass?” None of these would be good answers. He then explained that the correct answer would be: Because Jesus Christ died for me, and because of that I have chosen to live for Him.