In Ireland there are dispersed around the countryside, what are called Mass rocks. These rocks were where Catholics gathered for Mass, at a time in history, when it was unlawful. I can imagine that my ancestors may have been gathered around those rocks, risking their lives for the Body and Blood of Christ. This is believing! Priests were even more at risk, since their lives meant celebrating Mass repeatedly, with this danger. I am certainly indebted to these faithful, for my Catholic Baptism. This old moss covered rock was maybe the most moving site that I encountered, on my visit there, a Mass Rock.
We have the freedom to participate in the Lord’s Supper, at little cost, an hour of time. We don’t have to risk imprisonment, torture, persecution or life. The Irish did, as they gathered in secret, and under the cover of the woods. Today at Mass my thoughts were directed to Our Lady of Knock, who used to be celebrated on this day, before moved to another. In the apparition, Our Mother spoke no words, but held her hands like a Priest at the Altar, in the apparition and reality. After all it was through her that our Lord came to us Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. She needed no words. She didn’t need to express the worth of the Sacrificial Lamb, not to the Irish.
The discourse on the Eucharist has been read these past few weeks on Sundays, in the Lectionary. Christ is emphatically telling those who have ears to hear that He is real food. We have been satisfied so easily in our churches that we may never know, if we would journey to a rock in the woods. Maybe today we can just be consumed with gratitude that we don’t have to, and pray we never will.
Our Lady of Knock, please pray for us.