That’s how someone described the Forty Hours devotion we held at the last bank holiday weekend. It was a wonderful celebration of the richness and diversity of our local church, with hours of prayer led by all kinds of different groups, including the Mothers’ Prayers Group, our folk group, our altar servers, our brothers and sisters from St Christopher’s, our Indian community, scripture reflections by Sr Brigid, the Divine Mercy group and Rosary group. There were possibly more I don’t know about, as no-one was there for all forty hours, but together as a community we dedicated that time to being with the Lord, in praise and in petition, in sorrow, in joy and in hope. We cannot say ‘Thank you’ enough to those who worked so hard to prepare and organise everything that was needed to make it to happen and to so many who came to pray.
The Forty Hours devotion before the Blessed Sacrament was also a wonderful preparation for this weekend’s feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. St Paul tells us how he received and passed on the tradition of what Jesus did and said at the Last Supper. Over the centuries that tradition has been handed down to us, and we now have the privilege and the responsibility of handing it on to the next generation. This is what the families have been teaching to their children who received the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist on May 14th: that on the night before he died, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to his disciples saying ‘This is my Body, given for you’ and the same with the cup, saying ‘This is my Blood, which will be poured out for you and for everyone’ before giving the command ‘Do this in memory of me’.
As we give thanks for the gift of Jesus, with us always through his Spirit and through the sacrament of his Body and Blood, let’s pray that we will be strengthened by this food and drink for our journey through this life to the eternal life that awaits us.