The gift of spending time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament

By Dan Martuccio, president of the Pastoral Council of St. Mark Parish, Emporium

People often make a special effort to visit places and engage in activities. They save money for vacations, travel to sporting events and attend concerts. Many work throughout the year for moments on the beach or to secure seats in the stands, like section BB, row 4, seats 6-7. However, the most important place to visit with your family — for peace of mind and to rejuvenate body, mind and soul — is your parish church during Eucharistic adoration.

Jesus is always present in the Eucharist. He resides in the tabernacle 364 days a year, yet few come to be with him. We carry Jesus with us after receiving the Eucharist, and we should always keep him in our hearts.

Each Wednesday from 6 to 7 p.m., my parish hosts Eucharistic adoration. However, it's often the same group of about 20 people each week. Rarely does anyone new come to spend time, even for a few minutes, with our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. I personally cherish being in church, whether it's full or I'm alone, just stopping to make a visit. Catholics often say we stop at church to "make a visit." We do this because someone is there — Jesus in the Eucharist, in the tabernacle. We don’t visit a neighbor’s house if no one is home; we visit because someone is there.

I encourage you to check the Eucharistic adoration schedule at your local Catholic parish. My parish, St. Mark Parish in Emporium, offers adoration every Wednesday from 6 to 7 p.m. and every first Friday between Masses from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Attendance is not limited to Catholics; anyone who loves Jesus is welcome to realize his presence.

One of my favorite stories was shared by the late Father Benedict Groschel on EWTN. He noticed an older retired lady, a regular attendee of Eucharistic adoration at his parish, who belonged to the Baptist church nearby. After several months, Father Benedict's curiosity led him to ask her why she attended, knowing she was Protestant. She replied, “When I walk in this church, I know Jesus is here. I can feel him. I feel his presence all around me!”

Give yourself and your family the gift of spending time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. It’s a visit you will cherish, and I assure you he will bless you for it.