Begin those steps at the Madison Diocesan Eucharistic Congress
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
209 South St., Waunakee, WI
September 29-October 1, 2023
Encounter Jesus in the Eucharist!
Encounter describes the Madison Diocesan Eucharistic Congress in a nutshell. And an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist resembles the encounter on the road to Emmaus. Imitate the two disciples of Luke 24 when you take the road to Waunakee. Like them, you will encounter Jesus in many ways.
You will walk with Him…for up to three days. Like the disciples, your heart will burn for a deeper union with Jesus in an ongoing conversion. You will talk about Jesus to each other and hear the Word. You will see Him in the breaking of the bread, the Eucharist. Finally, you will leave the Congress with a desire to proclaim the faith to others.
The Wonder of Encountering Jesus
Look at Matthias Stom’s painting, Supper at Emmaus. It’s a snapshot capturing the moment when the two disciples on the left suddenly realize that the man on the right, is Jesus. Their eyes wide open, they reach out to touch Him, but, the next moment, He quickly disappears. He left, but He imprinted them with a deeper, spiritual faith. For us, He is always present in the Eucharist. We live in a state of wonder. And we take steps to encounter Him, waiting for us in His Sacrament of Love.
Take the road to Waunakee!
By coming to the Congress, you take a giant step. But it’s only one of at least six steps toward a deeper relationship with Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. The first step is an encounter:
- Encounter Jesus in the Eucharist: A personal relationship with Jesus begins by encountering Him as a Person. We draw close to Him, personally and directly. He knows us better than we know ourselves: We come to know that God is utterly personal and real in his mystery, with eyes of a secret penetration cast upon our soul (Haggerty). The Congress places you before Jesus in the Eucharist. Open your heart to the encounter!
- Repent and believe: In His Incarnation and death, Jesus emptied Himself of the glory to which, as God the Son, he was entitled (Durrell). St. Paul tells us, that Jesus, who,…did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,…emptied himself.… (Phil 2:6-8). In His humbling act, He humbled us. Faced with an infinite generosity we can’t repay, how do we respond? We love Him. Come to the Congress to be with Him in the Eucharist where He pours out His divine love.
- Realize what you believe: We can know the truths of the Eucharist. That’s a good start. But knowing is not necessarily believing or loving. At some point, mind meets the heart; knowledge becomes loving-knowledge. One day, our spiritual eyes will grow wide at seeing Jesus’ living reality in the Eucharist. We begin to “realize what we believe” (Kane). Then, every Communion becomes a deeply reverent and joyful union with our Savior.
- Seek a deeper conversion, a transformation in Christ: “The living Lord gives himself to me, enters into me, and invites me to surrender myself to him… ‘[I]t is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me’” (Ratzinger; Gal 2:20). Conversion turns us; transformation forms us. With the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Congress will help guide you in a “conversion born of the Eucharist” (Pope Benedict XVI) and toward an ongoing life of transformation.
- Live the divine life: Jesus suffered, died, and rose again to lift us to His divine life. We begin that life now in Baptism, faith, and in Communion: “There is no more perfect way to share in the divine life than by receiving the sacrificial victim offered for the life of the world…” (Feingold). “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” (Jn 6:51, 56). Do you need help with your spiritual life? The Congress offers spiritual direction.
- Live the liturgy in the world: At Mass, we step into a timeless moment with the ever-present, eternal God, then leave with Jesus Christ living within us, inflaming our souls with “a desire for the conversion, transformation, and salvation of every soul as well.” (Pope Benedict XVI). At the Congress, you will draw strength by being with God, but also by being with others who love God. It is a retreat, “a preparation for action” (Sheen).
Like the disciples who took the road to Emmaus, take the road to Waunakee in September!