Commissioning of Eucharistic Adorers:
Portlaoise Parish Centre
We live in two worlds. We live in a world of time, calendar time, clock time – minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years! It seems like only yesterday we were in the month of All Souls, November and suddenly we’re slap bang into December, a stones throw away from December 8th – the Feast of the Immaculate Conception! And still we are conscious that we are somehow outside time. That we can connect with those who have gone before us into another mode of life, people we have lived with, and with whom we are still close to in faith.
Over the past couple of months all of you have embarked on a journey accompanied by John & Brendan. A journey to reignite Eucharistic Adoration here in Kildare & Leighlin diocese. When you spend time in Adoration you walk out of time and into another world – His World – the Lord’s world. The prophet Isaiah reminds us in this mornings first reading: “you will see your teacher with your own eyes”. Looking on Him, as He looks on us! We may doze, even get totally distracted; He never takes His eyes off us!
And of course even though we step out of time the watch on our wrist reminds us we’re still in time. Sometimes our adoration hour passes quickly, often horribly slowly. And it’s when we’re distracted most, time seems to stand still. It takes the clock an inordinate amount of time to go from five past the hour to quarter past. I think of Gus’ prayer who I visited in hospital sometime ago, when he couldn’t concentrate on the Lord, he’d pray: “Lord, I can’t concentrate on you, you’ll have to concentrate on me!”
When we talk of time – it’s often said – where were you when the twin towers fell? Where were you when John Paul II went to his father’s house? Were were you when JFK was shot in Dallas? Time, time, time. The Adoration Hour and becoming a coordinator of that hour in our parish or group of parishes offers us an opportunity to pause the button of time, switch off the mobile, leave the desk and diary, the kitchen and the kettle and give God time.
St. Peter started to sink when he took his eyes off Jesus, that’s why we spend time in adoration and in prayer. If we don’t we’ll sink. It’s as simple as that. Looking on the Lord – I don’t do enough of it and most of us honestly don’t. You know the way, you are in company and maybe the conversations lulls a moment, what do you do, check your mobile, scrowl your messages, maybe even dare I say, send a tweet! If we checked into the Lord as much as we checked the messages on our smart phone, we’d be off to a good start.
I recall, a few weeks ago reflecting on the topic of ‘Priests Promoting Priestly Vocations’, I said in appointing Fr. Ruairi to this full time post, the appointment would be futile, if I didn’t put an army of prayer behind him. You are the lieutenants of that army. Matthews gospel tells us Jesus felt sorry for the people, they were “like sheep without a shepherd”. Kildare & Leighlin aren’t a million miles away from such a scenario – one seminarian currently in formation, please put the theme of vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life at the heart of your adoration hour. I conclude by thanking you for the generosity of offering this service, this ministry, this apostolate to our historic diocese and once again I thank those who accompanied you over these weeks of formation.