Over the weekend it was my joy to attend the Eucharistic Congress in Charlotte, North Carolina. Since it is my home diocese, I had attended a few times before as a participant but this was my first time as a vendor. So one major difference this time around was I did not process through the streets of the city led by the Holy Eucharist. Instead, I was already inside the Charlotte Convention Center and I was able to witness the entirety of the procession. It was so moving seeing the enormity of thousands of Catholics processing and the celebration of Jesus’ real presence in their midst. I was moved when I saw the elevated monstrance carrying Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and I fell to my knees, but I was also so moved by the real presence of Jesus Christ in His people as well.
What I knew to be theologically, I experienced personally. I have written a decent amount about how we not only follow Christ, but we become Christ to a world in need of hope when we depart from liturgy after having received Him in the Sacrament. But here in front of me was the reality of those words. These people from parishes all over the state came together to no longer be parishioners from St. Pius X or Our Lady of the Rosary, but to be Jesus Christ for the city of Charlotte and all those of good will who seek Him.
I had always been at awe at the number of people who attend each year. They prepare for 12,000 a year. I previously thought the real power was in a number so large. But Saturday I realized a more powerful number than that. We are One Body, One Faith, & One Baptism. The most powerful number is always ONE!