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Day 51 — Taking the Pearl of Great Price through the Price Hill Neighborhood of Cincinnati




CINCINNATI, July 7 — The 51st day of the Seton Route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage featured a beautiful Mass, lengthy procession and beautiful holy hour as it wound its way through the Price Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati.

 

The day began with Mass at the Church of St. Lawrence. Father Zachary Cecil, pastor of the parish, celebrated the Mass and Seton Chaplain Father Roger Landry preached.

 

In his homily, Father Landry focused on the Gospel of the day, namely, he reception Jesus received in the Synagogue of Nazareth, where people went quickly from amazement at his words, to doubt based on categorizing him according to their previous categories, to trying to run him out of time and toss him to his death. Jesus came unto his own, as St. John said, but his own received him not because they preferred darkness to light. They didn’t want to have their categories and lives changed if Jesus were truly the Messiah.

 

Father Landry contrasted the rejection Jesus received from his fellow Nazarenes from the way Mary of Nazareth and Joseph of Nazareth received Jesus and allowed him totally to change their whole lives. Nazareth is, therefore, a tale of two towns: unbelievable rejection and holy receptivity.

 

When we seek to actualize the Gospel, Father Landry said, we must that we Christians are the modern Nazarenes. We are Jesus’ “familiars.” We have pictures and even statues of him in our homes, we celebrate his birthday every December, we celebrate the major events of his life every liturgical year. From the day of our baptism, we have in fact been intimately related to him, we receive within the same Jesus, just under different appearances in sacramental form, whom Mary gestated in Holy Communion. Do we respond to him like Mary and Joseph or like the others in Nazareth?

 

The true litmus test is how we respond to him in the Eucharist. Like in his hometown, most today reject rather than truly receive Jesus. Jesus himself complained about being treated with ingratitude, indifference, irreverence, coldness, sacrilege and scorn in his apparitions to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque 350 years ago. The whole reason why we need a Eucharistic Revival is to remedy the way Jesus is rejected or ignored by so many.

 

Father Landry focused on four areas that we’re called to receive Jesus with love. The first is at Mass, not just on Sunday but, whenever we can, during the week. The second is in Eucharistic adoration, where Jesus waits for us. The third is in bearing our own thorns in the flesh, like St. Paul mentioned in the second reading of the Mass, knowing that God says to us, too, “my grace is sufficient for you,” because grace is our participation as creatures in God’s own life and we receive that life in the Holy Eucharist. The fourth is in charity, when we receive Jesus in the disguise of those in need.

 

After Mass, there was a procession first to the “pit” at Elder Catholic High School and then to St. William’s Church, which belongs to the same Price Hill Family of Parishes as St. Lawrence, together with St. Teresa Parish.



At St. William’s there was a Eucharistic Holy Hour featuring extraordinary music from the choir of the parish.





The Holy Hour of Adoration was followed by a cookout.


During the cookout, Matthew Kelly, a friend of Father Landry, came to meet the Pilgrims, asked them questions about the pilgrimage and answered their questions about evangelizing today and about the importance of the Eucharistic Revival. He shared his conviction that if people really know that the Eucharist is Jesus, they won’t leave the practice of the faith, and that the reason why there are so many non-practicing Catholics is because we haven’t been effective in passing on our Eucharistic faith. He said he believes that the Eucharistic Pilgrimage is doing a lot to fill people with the wonder necessary to approach the awesome gift of the Lord.




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