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‘Jesus Thirsts’ Film Gives Us an Opportunity to Evangelize

By Susan Ciancio

In this month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the country has become witness to an incredible event that must surely warm the heart of our Lord and that has already drawn countless people home to the Catholic faith.

Jesus Thirsts: The Miracle of the Eucharist—a film by executive producer Deacon Steve Greco and producers James Wahlberg and Tim Moriarty—is a Fathom event that was originally slated for showing in select theaters across the nation from June 4-6. It grossed $2,141,273 and landed at number one in per-screen average for those days. Because it did well, Fathom brought it back to theaters June 18 and 19. But the sensation grew! The demand was so great that the movie is now scheduled to remain in theaters through today.

Cosponsored by the Diocese of Orange (CA), this stunning film about the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist takes viewers from 33AD to today. We walk with Christ on the Road to Emmaus. We see Him at the Last Supper. We hear His words. We learn about Eucharistic miracles. And we embark on a global journey to see how the Eucharist has impacted people around the world.

According to the show’s writers and producers, stories are pouring in about renewed faith, conversions, and lives that have been transformed. It’s absolutely amazing what the truth on the big screen can do!

The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. In every Mass, through the priest, Christ performs a miracle. He comes to us—body, blood, soul, and divinity—in the Eucharist. But sadly, only two-thirds of Catholics believe this. Maybe those who don’t believe were never properly taught. Maybe they allowed themselves to succumb to doubts. Maybe for some reason they walked away from the faith.

But as we read in John chapter six, Jesus was preparing His followers for this difficult teaching. Several times He stated that we are to eat of His flesh. With words such as “I am the living bread that came down from heaven” and “My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink,” He taught that He was going to give Himself to us in the Eucharist. He was not speaking symbolically.

Many people walked away after hearing His teaching, saying it was too hard. Surely if Jesus had thought they misunderstood, He wouldn’t have let them walk away.

Jesus Thirsts explores this truth, and with moving stories and poignant dialog, it draws people to the very heart of our Catholic faith. And just as the film evangelizes, we too have the opportunity to evangelize to others, especially to our children. As parents, it is our job to teach them that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist and to build a foundation of faith at every Mass.

Many years ago, when my children were small, I read a book entitled Parenting with Grace by Catholic author and family therapist Greg Popcak. One of the pieces of advice he offered has stuck with me. When talking about taking kids to Mass, he said: “At the consecration, we make a point of quietly and reverently saying to our children from infancy on, ‘Look! Look at the miracle! The bread is becoming the body and blood of Jesus.’”

I began saying something similar to my children, and I still remember the day when my six-year-old son tapped me on the shoulder during Mass and said, “Mommy, I see it.” When I asked him what he saw, he said, “I see the miracle.”

This childlike wonder is something we should all experience every single time we go to Mass and see the priest consecrate the host.

What a gift we are given in the Eucharist! Christ loves us so much that He gives Himself to us at every Mass.

James Wahlberg, the film’s producer, expressed his wonder and excitement in a recent press release, and he encouraged people to “fill the theaters and tell others.” He continued, “This is our opportunity to evangelize through a film and to use the power of its message to change hearts.”

Indeed. Now that Jesus Thirsts will be in theaters longer, we have the incredible opportunity to be the hands of God here on earth as we work to soften hearts, to express our wonder at the miracle, and to bring the light and love of Christ to those we know.

Jesus Thirsts: The Miracle of the Eucharist is an amazing experience, and it’s a perfect way to foster conversations about the real presence with those you love. I urge you to take the time to see it because, truly, Jesus does thirst for you.