Monday Week 3 Easter, Memorial Our Lady of Fatima
In 1917 our Lady appeared in Fatima, Portugal to three shepherd children. The world, then, was in the midst of the First World War, when new ideologies challenged the ordering of societies, and the way we viewed the human person and God. These ideologies “snatched away” peoples‘ faith and trust in God. Our Lady‘s message to the world was penance, conversion of heart, repentance from sin and the daily praying of the rosary.
More than 100 years after that apparition, the message of our Lady continues to echo in our time. Our social and economic context may have changed and may be different from that of Portugal and Europe in 1917, but the reality of sin and death has even intensified. The war being waged is not just by and among nations but also close to our own experience, in the family and in marriage.
Ideological, political and moral issues like gender and sex, the sanctity of human life, personal freedom and a sense of responsibility divide people, even among the faithful, to two opposing poles. A good number have left the church or have become lukewarm Catholics because of the unwavering stand of the church against abortion, divorce, same sex marriage, and euthanasia.
As we take to heart the warning of Jesus, “A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy, ” it is through conversion of heart and repentance from sin that we come to experience Jesus as the source of life, life that is full and abundant.