Bishop Andrew Cozzens of the Diocese of Crookston, Minnesota ignited hearts for love of the Eucharist in his talk at the Catholic Media Association's Catholic Media Conference in Baltimore last week.
His presentation entitled, "Letting the Word Become Flesh," encouraged listeners to encounter Jesus' Real Presence in the Eucharist.
"The real presence of Jesus allows us today the possibility to truly encounter him," the Bishop stressed.
"At the heart of our teaching on the Real Presence is the simple truth: the same Jesus who was born in Bethlehem, who walked on the earth, who suffered and died on the Cross, who rose from the dead and is seated at the Right hand of the Father – this same person of Jesus Christ, is really, truly, and substantially present here and now in the Eucharist. He is here so you can receive him in Holy Communion."
Here's a video with highlights from Bishop Cozzen's presentation:
Highlights from the recent plenary talk of the Most Rev. Andrew Cozzens (@DioCrookston) during the @CM_Association's Catholic Media Conference in Baltimore. His Excellency spoke on "Letting the Word Become Flesh" and shed light on how a personal encounter with the Lord ignites… pic.twitter.com/WXjh629kuF— EWTN News (@EWTNews) June 13, 2023
The bishop conveyed ways Catholics can understand the powerful presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
"Your perseverance, faith, and joyfully serving the Church is redemptive and not unconnected to what happens at the Eucharist when we celebrate Mass, and we know that all those sacrifices become part of the redemption of the world," he says.
"St. Paul, when he meets the living Lord, what happens? He's struck blind. The blindness, of course, is a sign of what it means to live without God.
"St. Paul didn't know who he was persecuting. He was blind and he has to experience his own interior blindness to have a real conversion to come to discover who Jesus really is. He has to live in that blindness until he is able to recognize who he is called to see.
The primary concept the bishop discusses in the video is the "realization that Jesus is God."
"Let's take one encounter from the scriptures that's a good example of this: the encounter that Jesus has with Our Lord in Luke 5.
"If you remember what happened to St. Peter, Jesus has just come to Capernaum, Peter's hometown. He comes to Peter's house the night before, he heals Peter's mother-in-law, and then hundreds of people show up at His door, and He heals people late into the night.
"Peter, who's a fisherman, leaves before nightfall or around nightfall, and he goes fishing, because he fishes at night. And he fishes all night and he catches nothing.
"And the next morning, as he's cleaning his nets, Jesus shows up on the shore. And Jesus is teaching.
"He says, 'Come and follow me. I'll make you a fisher of men.'
"He calls him closer.
"And one can imagine, and should imagine the look in Jesus' eyes as He says that to Peter who's feeling his sinfulness.
"[This is] perhaps not unlike the look that Jesus gave to Peter when he denied him three times, recorded in Luke's Gospel. That look of merciful love that says, 'I'll always love you.'
"Those two things are meant to go together: the experience of being a sinner and needing conversion, and the experience of being infinitely loved.
"The same Jesus who was born in Bethlehem, who walked on the earth, who suffered and died on the Cross, who rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father, that same Jesus--that same Person is really, truly, substantially present, here and now in the Eucharist.
"He's here and now so that we can encounter Him, so that we can receive Him in Holy Communion, so that we can adore him, so that we can have union with Him.
"So that we'll know we are never alone."
Bishop Cozzens concluded his talk with these words:
"This is the revival we want: to be set on fire with Christ’s love so we can be given for the world."