Churches and chapels are sacred to us because of the Eucharistic healing presence of God.
We need signs and symbols to help us focus on the depth of our faith and fathom something of their mystery. Divine healing elements can be felt in sacred artifacts and objects from our environment. A crucifix or cross brings to mind the sacrificial presence of Jesus, made powerfully evident during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. A reconciliation room or confessional booth are reminders of the healing power of forgiveness. The themes of the stained glass windows and the Stations of the Cross visualize God’s unconditional love.
Throughout the centuries, both Jesus’ healing and miracle works have remained part of the collective faith of the Christian community. In God’s timelessness, experiences of faith, healing and acts of love still linger (like fragrant incense in a church) and contribute to the sense of God’s presence.
We feel at home in our churches because of the presence of Jesus. Our churches, chapels and oratories are healing places because of divine presence not only in the assembly, but foremost in the Eucharistic presence.
Jesus invites us to be open to his healing love, to come and worship with Him. We can experience how God speaks to us in his sacred sphere and draws us into a powerful experience of healing through Christ’s Eucharistic celebration. Thus, we will be blessed as we may find ourselves happier and more at peace. We receive this loving experience from our Heavenly Father, as we need to be givers of blessings to others in order to truly live our faith. God shows us through his blessings that we are deeply valued and that we are important. In turn, we communicate what we have experienced to others, such as the unblessed in our society, the abandoned, the outcast, the homeless and the unloved. We become aware of the destructive behavior of those who run here and there searching for acceptance, longing for a blessing but experiencing curses instead.
Each part of the Holy Eucharist aids in this healing and blessing process: The Introductory Rite, the Liturgy of the Word, the Liturgy of the Eucharist and the Concluding Rite. As we fully participate in each part we open up and receive the full effects God intends for you to receive. Thus, we are called to carry that blessing to others and carry out Jesus’ ministry. Many people have been healed of diseases, addiction, mental illness, because of the prayers by those who were blessed.
During the Penitential Rite, we contemplate on our relationship with God and fellow men, as well as all creation. As we confess our failures we ask for insights about our decisions and shortcomings. While we forgive and receive forgiveness, we experience divine mercy, i.e. love and forgiveness in action.
In one of the earliest praises of the Church, the Gloria, we join the earthly priesthood with the heavenly priesthood and together acknowledge God’s perfection in his works and benefits.
As we listen to Holy Scripture, we ask the Holy Spirit to speak through the verses with words of instruction, insight, understanding and healing. We must open up, so we can receive that intimate word. Homilies that primarily say what Jesus has done for us will offer healing and affirm hope that he loves and forgives us.
When we recite the Creed, we articulate that we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit and renew our baptismal promises and confirmation vows. The Holy Spirit can move into our soul again as we consciously welcome him by opening ourselves to divine healing power.
When we receive Holy Communion, we ask the Lord to minister to us by healing us. The closest we come to experience Christ’s presence is in the reception of his mystical body and blood. He heals us physically, spiritually and emotionally.
In concluding the Service, the dismissal Rite affirms our mandate to share the gift we have received. Many today have lost faith, but are (often subconsciously) waiting for an opportunity to experience God’s love and presence. We unfold in our hearts a better understanding of the great gift we receive in the Holy Eucharist. This great gift in the healing power of the Eucharist will lift our spirits and bring depth to our faith.