Last night was the first Eucharistic Adoration event of the season for Arise Milwaukee. The event was held at St. Dominic Parish in Brookfield and was wonderfully attended by nearly 1,000 people. I had the privilege of being one of the altar servers for the evening.
Fr. Luke Strand, Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and spiritual advisor for Arise, presided. In a completely darkened church, Fr. Luke processed in with a spotlight shining on the monstrance while the congregation sang O, Salutaris. Placing our Lord upon the altar, he began this intimate encounter with Lectio Divina on Psalm 139.
These beautiful words from the opening chapters of the psalm remind us that God is always in our midst and desires to enter into our hearts if we allow him. We are often in dire need of affirmation of God's presence. We often fall into the trap of believing that God is closer to us when our lives are blessed with high points of prestige or high honors, and is distant from our lives when we face significant challenges and become discouraged. King David definitely shared some of these same thoughts as he penned out psalms of God's faithfulness and unending mercy.
At Arise tonight, one of the speakers recalled a story told to him about St. John Vianney. The story goes that St. John Vianney questioned a young peasant about why he seemed to have a saintly glow after he had finished adoring Christ in the Holy Eucharist, to which the peasant replied, "I look at Jesus and He looks at me."
In a world that does not know, or chooses not to know Christ, we must always remind ourselves that God is always present and that he will never forsake us. He knows us through and through and desperately wants to envelop us in His great love more and more.
I encourage you to attend Arise Milwaukee Missions and Eucharistic Adoration throughout the Archdiocese of Milwaukee whenever you find an opportunity. It is most important to allow ourselves time with the Lord Jesus especially when we feel alone or discouraged. Allow the Lord to gaze upon you and fill you with his deep love and reaffirm your understanding that He has never left your side.
The next Arise Milwaukee Mission will be on December 13th at St. Jerome Parish in Oconomowoc from 7pm-9pm. For more information please visit www.arisemissions.org