St. John Proclaims the Gospel in Knock!!
Prophetic Message for the Third Milennium
(A sharing by Joe O'Callaghan 2003)
The ‘Vision of Knock’ occurred in Knock, Co Mayo, Ireland in 1879, at the gable end of the Parish Church. Fifteen witnesses testified to the presence in the apparition of Our Blessed Mother, Mary, St Joseph, St John the Evangelist, and angels surrounding the lamb on the altar.
Some years ago while standing in the Chapel of the Apparition the following thoughts came to my mind:
I would like to suggest that in this apparition St John, the teacher, Bible in hand with two fingers raised, is proclaiming aloud from his own gospel. His demeanor is strong, enthusiastic and vibrant. St Joseph has his head bowed in silent contemplative listening to the Word while Mary has her hands slightly raised, shoulder high, interceding on behalf of those ‘listening to the Word’.
The question arises as to what St John is reading. I suggest St John is reading Chapter 1:35-37.
“On the following day as John [the Baptist] stood there again with two of his disciples Jesus passed, and John stared hard at him and said,
‘Look there is the lamb of God’.
Hearing this the two disciples followed Jesus.”
The two disciples referred to are of course John the Evangelist and Andrew. The two fingers raised could mean these “two disciples (who) followed Jesus”. The reason Mary is silent is because the gospel is being read. However the lesson to be learnt is that Mary is present whenever the gospel is being proclaimed interceding for us who are listening, that we too may listen like St Joseph, with our hearts.
I believe that Knock is an encouragement to both listen to and proclaim the gospel. We are being invited to take up the scriptures and read them ‘Tolle lege’ as St Augustine heard ‘Take it up and read it’.
Perhaps the Vision of Knock is therefore about Evangelisation – introducing people to God’s Word – Jesus – the Lamb of God. The second Vatican Council stated that ‘easy access to Sacred Scripture should be provided for all the faithful’. Dei Verbum #22.
In any event, we are all called to put Jesus, The Lamb of God, at the centre of our lives.
The apparition of Knock occurred 10 years after Vatican 1. Is Knock a bridge between the two Councils? Is Knock encouraging our Bishops to teach afresh the gospel with a new vibrant enthusiasm and asking us also, the laity, to proclaim it with renewed evangelistic zeal?
Pope John Paul II in ‘Novo Millennio Ineunte’ #15, says that the great legacy of the Jubilee is “contemplating the FACE OF CHRIST” or ‘Behold the Lamb of God’. More recently our prophetic pontiff says
“Church in Europe, the ‘new evangelisation’ is the task set before you! Rediscover the enthusiasm of proclamation.”
ECCLESIA IN EUROPA 28 June 2003
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