10 Aug 2013

11th August 2013 - 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) - A reflection on the apparition at Knock

On this weeks programme John is joined by Fr Frank Duhig and Michael Keating. Michal makes a welcome return and leads a discussion about the apparition at Knock as we head into the national novena, the feast day and the consecration of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on August 15th. We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as some other bits and pieces including the saints of the week.

This weeks podcast is available to listen to HERE.

Our Lady of Knock

Michael Keating tells us of the story of the Apparitions of Knock this morning and reminds us that while the shrine at Knock is mainly viewed as a Marian shrine, the focus of this silent apparition was actually on the Lamb of God on the Altar before the Victorious Cross and how Mary once more is pointing the way to her Son and not to herself.

While people can be overly familar with the story of Knock it is always good to go back again and look at its history in detail.
On the wet Thursday evening of the 21st August, 1879, at about 8 o'clock, Our Lady, St. Joseph, and St. John the Evangelist appeared in a blaze of Heavenly light at the south gable of Knock Parish Church. Behind them and a little to the left of St. John was a plain altar. On the altar was a cross and a lamb with adoring angels. The Apparition was seen by fifteen people whose ages ranged from six years to seventy-five and included men, women and children. The witnesses described the Blessed Virgin Mary as being clothed in white robes with a brilliant crown on her head. Over the forehead where the crown fitted the brow, she wore a beautiful full-bloom golden rose. She was in an attitude of prayer with her eyes and hands raised towards Heaven. St. Joseph stood on Our Lady's right. He was turned towards her in an attitude of respect. His robes were also white. St. John was on Our Lady's left. He was dressed in white vestments and resembled a bishop, with a small mitre. He appeared to be preaching and he held an open book in his left hand. The witnesses watched the Apparition in pouring rain for two hours, reciting the Rosary. Although they themselves were saturated not a single drop of rain fell on the gable or vision.
You can read the accounts of the 15 witnesses here, with the most compelling one being that of Mary Byrne especially at the second Commision of Inquiry in 1936.
At that stage Mary was eighty-six. She was interviewed by the commissioners in her bedroom, as she was too ill to leave. She gave her final testimony and concluded with the words:

'I am clear about everything I have said and I make this statement knowing I am going before my God'

Mary died six weeks later.

Liturgical notes:
Memoria of Our Lady of Knock is a new celebration in the Irish church calendar and is celebrated on August 17th. At Knock, the feast is still marked on August 21st which was the actual date of the apparition and is the last date of the novena.

You can listen to the Knock section of the programme excerpted HERE.

Gospel - Luke 12:32-48

""Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

Fr Frank leads us in a beautiful reflection on this weeks gospel reflecting on how we are called to not be afraid, to being open and ready to trust in God.

Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
English Dominicans
The Social Shape of Divine Generosity
Blue Eyed Ennis

Liturgical odds and ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter - Week 3

Saints of the Week

August 12th - St Lelia (Virgin)
also St Jane Frances de Chantal (religious)
also St Attracta (virgin)
also St Muredach (bishop)
August 13th - St Fachtna (bishop)
August 14th - St Maximilian Kolbe (priest & martyr)
August 15th - Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
August 16th - St Stephen of Hungary
August 17th - Our Lady of Knock

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