Homily Notes for Killaloe Diocesan Committee of Eucharistic Adoration Promotion
Blessed Sacrament Chapel, Shannon, Co. Clare
Saturday 20th of January 2024
Eucharist – Summit and Source of our Faith
We are well aware that the Mass, the Eucharist is the highpoint of our faith and worship. In the words of the document on the sacred liturgy from the Second Vatican Council it is The Summit and Source of our Faith. The Summit and Source of our Faith! The Eucharist is the meeting point between heaven and earth in the bread and wine transformed into the body and blood of Jesus in the sacrifice of the altar.
Adoration is the Eucharist in Contemplation
In the Eucharist reserved in the blessed sacrament as spiritual nourishment for the sick and worship and adoration of the faithful we have a continuing presence of the Lord, the Eucharistic Jesus. In the words of one of the great giants of theology and spirituality of the 20th century Karl Rahner. Adoration is the Eucharist in Contemplation. I love that phrase, so packed with meaning. Adoration is the Eucharist in Contemplation.
The Torch of Eucharistic Faith
For centuries in Ireland we have great devotion to the Eucharist. The example of the penal times is great evidence of that. There is a Prayer posted by the Mass rock of Tobarnalt, Co. Sligo. It runs:
Here are the memories of a poor, persecuted people,
They braved death to come.
They walked barefoot through the woods to worship in secret.
Here are memories of hunted priests,
Offering Mass in this hallowed place at risk of their lives.
Will their suffering and sacrifice be in vain?
They have handed on a torch – Let us keep that torch alight.
What a great invitation to keep that torch alight.
That is precisely what you have so heroically volunteered to do in the work you do as a diocesan committee for the promotion of Eucharistic Adoration and I commend and thank you all for that.
I know you make great efforts to keep that torch alight with your work in various parishes around the diocese!
Adoration and the devotion of a Holy Hour
What a beautiful devotion to encourage and develop in one’s personal spiritual life; the practice of adoration and doing a Holy Hour. Being a great fan of Bishop Robert Barron I’m often encouraged by his recommendation that anyone who takes the devotional life seriously would benefit hugely by doing a holy hour each day. In turn he was hugely influenced by his great role model in communication and devotion, Bishop Fulton Sheen. In his famous autobiography, Treasures in Clay Sheen describes the Holy Hour as The Hour that makes my day! The Hour that makes my day!
We become like the one we gaze upon and worship
In the words of St. John Paul II:
“We become like the one we gaze upon and worship. Looking at the Eucharistic Lord for an hour transforms the heart in a mysterious way”. JP II.
A spirituality of Encounter – Desidero desideravi
Desiderio Desideravi is the title of Pope Francis’ 2022 document on the Sacred Liturgy, comes from the Latin version of Luke 22:15: “I have earnestly desired (desiderio desideravi) to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” Pope Francis begins this beautiful and relatively short reflection on the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Sacred Liturgy by reminding us of the Most Holy Trinity’s love for us and desire for us.
In that beautiful document on the liturgy he talks about a spirituality of encounter in the Eucharist. It’s a theme that he comes back to again and again, having a genuine encounter with the Lord in the Eucharist, in Prayer.
I pray that as you all continue the great work of Promoting Eucharistic Adoration that you would have that great genuine encounter with the Lord, face to face, heart to heart (St. John Henry Newman) and following from that pass on the light of this experience with those you come into contact with in your homes, parish, pastoral areas and diocese! Amen!