The annual pilgrimage of the Apostolate of Eucharistic Adoration to Knock took place on Sunday 24 April 2016.
A large number of pilgrims from the Diocese of Meath joined the celebrations in the Basilica, which included a presentation by Fr Declan Hurley entitled “Adoration: gazing on the face of mercy”.
Fr Hurley drew attention to the recently unveiled image of the Knock apparition in the Basilica:
“The mystery that we are now contemplating in the apparition is the same mystery we contemplate in adoration – it is the mystery of God’s merciful love made real and accessible in the Eucharist.
“The witnesses to the apparition are our patrons … because they are the first Irish people of modern times that we can identify as adorers. They are people who spend time contemplating the very same mystery that we contemplate when we are in adoration. And there is the sacred silence of Knock, so like the sacred silence of our adoration chapels – no words were spoken here! Instead, a mystery was revealed so that those who witnessed it could simply contemplate and adore.”
The theme of mercy provided a significant focus for Fr Hurley’s reflection:
“Let us not underestimate the value of time spent in adoration as a real encounter with God’s mercy. As Pope Francis says in the opening words of his document that announced the Holy Year: “Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy” (MV 1), so it stands to reason that any encounter with Christ, such as in adoration, is an encounter with the Father’s mercy.
“Nowhere is this merciful gaze of the Father more accessible, more tangible, than in the time we spend in adoration. Adoration is a privileged place to encounter the merciful gaze of the Father, it is where we go cheek to cheek with the Lord, it is where we can gaze on the face of Mercy.”