Saturday, 13 May 2017 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima, 100th Anniversary (Centenary) of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we as the whole Church are all celebrating a very special occasion and anniversary of one very significant event in our faith, one that happened not that long ago such that it was still relatively fresh in the living memory, that is about a century ago in Fatima, a small village in Portugal, in the year of our Lord 1917.

At that time, Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three young villagers, named Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia. She appeared to them bearing messages to the people of God, calling mankind to repentance, and to rediscover their faith in God. There are many messages which Our Lady’s apparition, later known as Our Lady of Fatima, passed on through the three children.

She came at the time in the world where there were so many great evils lurking around, in the midst of the first World War, then known as the Great War, where millions of people lost their lives over conflict of national interests and sovereignty, over human greed and pride, over all worldly concerns and other things. Millions more people had been displaced from their homes and their dwellings, and had become refugees in their own lands.

And the year 1917 was the beginning of the Communist movement gaining momentum and power throughout the world, beginning in Russia, when the Bolshevik Revolution succeeded in allowing the Communists to establish the world’s first Communist regime. And this in time would result in the extermination of countless faithful, both the laity and the priests alike, the closure of many churches and parishes, and the spread of atheism throughout not just Russia but also through many other parts of the world.

Our Lady of Fatima made her appearance to the three children of Fatima, two of whom are now Blessed and will soon be made as Saints, right at the anniversary today, because she is the mother of our Lord, whom the Lord Jesus Himself had entrusted to all of us as our own mother, by His entrusting of her to His disciple St. John as He hung from the cross. Therefore, at the same time, just as she is our mother, we have also all been adopted as her children.

After all, which mother does not love her children? If a mother refuses to love her children, or neglect those children she had, then even if the children were her own biological children, she should be ashamed of even calling or considering herself as a mother. But Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, is truly our mother, because not only that she is concerned for our well-being, but she also tries her best to help us as we journey through this journey of life towards the end, trying out to reach the Lord and His salvation.

She has made frequent apparitions, and in the recent years alone, the two most well known of those were made, namely at Lourdes and at Fatima, in order to remind us all, the children of God, whom God had made to be her children as well, that all of us mankind must turn away from our sinful ways, and begin to make our journey towards repentance and forgiveness from our sins.

Otherwise, much sufferings, sorrows and evils will come out of our human behaviours, as shown and proven right at the very moment Our Lady of Fatima chose to make her appearance. The Great War or the first World War was the product of human greed, of the desire for power, for wealth, for renown and many other things, first of which is human ego, which led to men killing one another and making sufferings to happen on each other because they could not restrain themselves from the temptations.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, it may have been a century since the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, but the message she had spoken to us all through the three Fatima children remain true to this very day. It may seem that in our world today, things are now less chaotic and dangerous than it was a hundred years ago, and yet, if we pay a closer attention to what is happening around us, we will realise that mankind have not yet learnt from the lessons of their past.

There are many people who continue, in the pursuit of their personal desires and wishes, to oppress other people and cause suffering upon other people, and there are also still the forces of those who refuse to believe in God, and impose their will on the faithful people of God, causing much harm and suffering on the people of God, much as how it had happened in the past.

Therefore, a century after the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of God, Our Lady of Fatima appeared to the three children at Fatima, delivering grim messages of destruction if mankind were to continue in their current path, and how we should act in order to avoid that fate, by bringing ourselves closer to God through the path that Our Lady had shown us, now the challenge is upon us, in order to listen again to what she had told Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia, and reflect on our own deeds in life, and think of what we can do, in order to be ever more faithful to God.

As Christians, all of us should do our best to help one another to live faithfully in accordance with the ways of the Lord, turning ourselves completely away from sin, and abandoning all sorts of wickedness and evil, and seek to serve the Lord with all of our might. Let us all listen to the messages of Our Lady of Fatima, and begin our way towards redemption, as we turn away from selfishness and worldly temptations, and renew our commitment to the Lord.

Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, should be our role model in life, as she is the paragon of virtue and obedience, as someone who had dedicated her entire life in the service of God, by obediently following her Son, Jesus our Lord, throughout His entire ministry in this world. She obeyed the Lord with faith, entrusting herself to God and His plans, and therefore, she became for all of us, an example in faith not surpassed by any other.

That is why we have such a deep devotion to Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, because we honour her great faith and commitment to live her life in accordance with the will of God. Let us all remember this, whenever we try to act selfishly and bring suffering on others, that our Blessed Mother Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, had been ever so selfless in her life, that she gave her all to love her Son, Jesus, and always thinking of Him all the time, the perfect love shown by a mother to her Son.

Let us all remember that despite all the darkness present in our lives today, and despite all the evils and wickedness that we mankind commit in this world, all of us as Christians, as those who believe in the Lord, can follow in the footsteps of Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, whose faith in God and life was brilliantly bright, that we can become beacons of light, to bring light to those who are living in the darkness, and make our world a better place, and save more souls from the damnation to hell and the darkness.

O, Our Lady of Fatima, Most Blessed Virgin Mary, pray for all of us sinners who are still struggling with our lives in this world. Help us to persevere in faith as you have done, and pray for our sake before your Son, our Lord and God, and help us to say in sincerity the prayer which the Angel your Son had sent to the three children had taught us to pray, for the sake of our souls and their salvation from eternal death and damnation in hell.

Let us all pray together, brothers and sisters in Christ, with the words taught to us by the Angel at Fatima a hundred years ago, “O my Jesus. Forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need of Your mercy.” Amen.

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