July 1, 2022

Serra Club Vocations Essay

Teenager hopes revival will open people’s eyes to Christ in the Eucharist

(Editor’s note: The Indianapolis Serra Club’s annual John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest ordinarily awards prizes each spring to winning essayists in grades 7-12 in the archdiocese. This week, we continue with the winning entry in the 10th grade. Please note this year there were no entries from the 11th grade.)

By Lilly Schebler (Special to The Criterion)

Lilly ScheblerThe Catholic faith is spectacular. One of its most beautiful treasures is the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. We have the privilege of spending time before Jesus through adoration and the Mass.

I have been raised a Catholic, but I simply ran through the motions. I never realized the true meaning of the Eucharist until this year when I received the gift of feeling and seeing the presence of God while worshiping him with dozens around me.

Growing up as a Catholic, I was surrounded with friends who expressed that they actually felt different after receiving the Eucharist. I stood with my friends talking about how good it felt to me also. However, little did they know, I was lying.

Recently, with these same friends, I was convinced to attend an overnight retreat. I signed up knowing I could easily come up with an excuse about how I couldn’t attend due to a “conflict.”

I later discovered through adoration that the devil knew something good was about to happen, so he was trying to get in my way.

I ended up going to the retreat, sitting through talks and waiting for the good food that I was promised.

It wasn’t until the last night that I truly experienced the presence of Jesus through outside adoration. As I knelt in the grass with my friends around me praying, apparently Jesus was going to be walking through the crowd as the priest processed holding Jesus in a monstrance.

The speakers kept going on about how some people may cry and others may laugh. I was paying no attention until a set of words was spoken: “Faith is a choice; you will not feel the presence of Jesus unless you are welcoming him.”

Those words flew through my body, and the next thing I knew, I was not only crying, but sobbing. I was kneeling on the hard ground, as I reached out my hand and felt the priest’s vestments. This action reassured me that it was all real.

That night, something clicked when I truly welcomed Jesus in the Eucharist into my heart.

The Eucharist is now at the center of my life. I have been on multiple retreats and a mission trip as I continue to deepen my faith. The gift of Jesus in the Eucharist led me to some of the greatest friends and experiences in life. I continue to feel a peace and calmness when I receive Jesus at Mass.

Additionally, I have changed my routine to allow adoration time in order to truly feel his presence and allow Jesus to lead my life. When I look around, I see the Eucharist guiding others as they evangelize and as they discern their vocations.

In fact, the bishops in the U.S. have announced a 3-year eucharistic revival to start this year. The Eucharist is truly an

indescribable gift. I hope the revival will help others see the true presence of Christ in our world.

(Lilly and her parents, Ryan and Jennifer Schebler, are members of St. Louis Parish in Batesville. She recently completed the 10th grade at the Oldenburg Academy of the Immaculate Conception in Oldenburg and is the 10th-grade division winner in the Indianapolis Serra Club’s 2022 John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest.)

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