SCRANTON – Following the 12:15 p.m. Mass June 19, several hundred people streamed out of the Cathedral of Saint Peter’s front doors and onto Wyoming Avenue behind a canopy carried over a monstrance bearing the body of Christ.
The procession made its way to the front steps of the Cathedral rectory, where there was a period of adoration and the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, held the monstrance aloft to bless the faithful.
The procession marked the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, also known as the feast of Corpus Christi, as well as the nationwide launch of the National Eucharistic Revival, a three-year initiative of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to revitalize Catholics’ understanding of and love for Jesus in the Eucharist.
“During this treasured time, we will contemplate and proclaim the doctrine of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, a belief that has sustained countless numbers of Catholic Christians throughout two millennia, yet a belief that, sadly, many have lost over the years,” Bishop Bambera said. “Our hope for these years of revival is that we are able to reclaim and fortify this sublime gift of God through the truth of our Church’s teaching, the beauty of our Catholic worship and the goodness of lives of service that flow from the life and presence of Jesus, given to us in the Eucharist.”
Through the Eucharist, the bishop reminded the faithful that we are bound together as brothers and sisters in Christ, we remember the promise of Christ’s second coming in glory and are sent forth on mission – to be the living presence of Jesus in our world today.
“While we find great consolation and peace in adoring Christ present in the Sacrament of His Body and Blood, our time with Christ is never meant to end in adoration. Such treasured moments are always given to us to fortify us to go forth on mission,” he explained.
Saint Paul also reminds us to never take the gift of the Eucharist for granted or never see it as a routine element of our worship.
“We who are privileged to receive Christ must become Christ and take Him into our world so desperately in need of God’s presence, God’s grace and God’s mercy,” Bishop Bambera ended his homily saying.