A year ago, Pope Francis was preaching at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and he said, “Jesus Christ manifested himself; we are invited to get to know him, to recognize him in our lives...is Jesus Christ at the center of my life?”
As Catholics, we often speak about the importance of having Jesus at the center of our lives, but why? Why should Jesus be at the center of my life? We need Jesus at the center, because it is Jesus Christ who reveals to us the best life, the path to happiness that we all desire. When my life is centered around Jesus, then I know that I have the anchor to keep me stable in times of distress, hurt, or suffering. I have the guide to help me make the moral decision. I have the Savior who heals my wounds and welcomes me into his heart.
Just as the sun is the center of the solar system and all planets orbit around it, so too it should be with the Son and our lives orbit around him.
This understanding is part of the motivation to moving the tabernacle to the center of our church Sanctuary. The
tabernacle is where we place the Eucharist after communion. The Eucharist that we receive at communion is not a symbol, but is real. The Eucharist is Jesus Christ: body, blood, soul and divinity. And so, at the conclusion of communion, we place the Eucharist in the tabernacle where He is present for our worship. By placing the tabernacle at the center, we put into our architecture the teachings of our faith: Christ should be at the center of our lives.
As Pope Francis said, when Christ is at the center of your life, “you will never be disappointed.”
So as you enter our church, I encourage you to see the tabernacle, genuflect and ask yourself that question that Pope Francis asked of each of us: “Is Jesus Christ at the center of my life?”
Fr. Nels Gjengdahl