Revived in the Presence of Christ
The number ‘40’ appears several times in Sacred Scripture and signifies a sacred time of preparation, purification, and renewal. We recall the 40 years when the People were led out of Egypt and into the desert before entering into the Promised Land. The pattern of our Lenten observance was given to us by the Lord Jesus, who by His 40 days of fasting and prayer, has given us a model to follow.
On March 19-20, we will have the 40 Hours Devotion for our Lenten Parish Mission. Lent is an ideal time to have a 40 Hours Devotion or a Parish Mission, and this also coincides with the feast of St. Joseph. It’s an event that calls us back to the life of prayer and encourages us to rededicate ourselves to living out the Faith we have received.
The 40 Hours Devotion recalls the span of time between Our Lord’s burial and resurrection. That’s why it takes place over three days and can include a series of talks and prayers. The devotion is nearly 500 years old and was first popularized in this country by St. John Neumann, the Philadelphia bishop who promoted it. He saw the need among his people to grow in their faith, devotion, reverence, and love of Jesus who is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. The same is true for us.
For the three days, we will have adoration of the Blessed Sacrament throughout the day and each evening at 7:00 PM I will be giving a talk on our belief in the Eucharist. I’m giving this 40 Hours/Mission the title: “Revived, in the presence of Christ.”
Please stay tuned for more details. I encourage you to make some time to come before the Lord in prayer. When the Blessed Sacrament is solemnly exposed we need at least two people present to ensure that someone is always before the Lord. Beginning next weekend, please consider signing up for a half hour or an hour to come and pray. Of course, you are free to come during those hours whenever it’s convenient for however long you would like.
Let’s ask the Lord that through the 40 Hours Devotion and our other Lenten practices we will experience spiritual growth in our own lives and receive good blessings for our families and community.