The isolation restrictions that have been put in place in response to the coronavirus epidemic have resulted in many of the faithful around the world being unable to receive the Eucharist. Earlier this week Archbishop Eamon Martin walked with the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of Armagh in a spiritual demonstration of the presence of Christ in our lives in times of difficulty and isolation.
When asked by The Irish News on the motivation behind his walk through an estate in the Windmill Lane area of Armagh, Archbishop Martin said, “We have a very strong devotion to Christ’s presence in the Blessed Sacrament – the Real Presence of Christ – and to the idea that Jesus walks among his people in the presence of that Blessed Sacrament”. This was a way of “bringing the Lord to the people as they could no longer come to the Church and gather”.
The Archbishop continued, “I decided to use my one opportunity to walk on Tuesday, not just as a physical exercise but also as a spiritual exercise. So I walked on my own with the Monstrance through the estate, practically in the middle of the road because there were so few cars. People could see me from their houses. They were coming to the window and blessing themselves. One man came to his door in a wheelchair, for example.”
Archbishop Martin was greeted and thanked by parishioners who came out of their houses to kneel in front of the Blessed Sacrament. He said, “One man called out of his window, ‘Thank you for visiting us’. People might be isolated, but they are not alone.”
Archbishop Martin concluded, “We need to know that Jesus is accompanying people, that He is walking with His people, He is out among them in their homes and places where they are isolated; Jesus comes and walks among you.”