Today the Blessed Virgin’s words continue to echo and remind us of the certainty of Christian Truth as a constant and reliable point of reference for all of our lives.  She who is ‘full of grace’ repeats to us ‘Do whatever He tells you’ and invites us to use our intelligence, informed by our conscience, to discern the signs of the times and do the right things.

Again and again she repeats ‘Do whatever He tells you’. Again and again she invites us to acknowledge her Son and to recognise that the fullness of God, the fullness of the Divinity, is alive in the flesh and blood of the God-Man, Jesus of Nazareth.

Yes, we know that whoever recognises that Jesus is God made Man, is someone who comes from God and the Holy Spirit lives in him. (cf.1 John 2:22). Conversely whoever denies or hides the singular mystery of the Incarnation is not of God. The first thing then that the Madonna asks us to do is to accept this precise act of faith from which everything else follows.

We thank you, Our Lady of Fatima, for you always remind us of how the core of our faith is the recognition that Jesus of Nazareth is Lord and Christ, the centre of the universe and of history (cf. Acts 4:12).

Faced with passing fashions, with all the corruption of the true faith, all the world’s monotonously repetitive attempts to ‘reduce’ the mystery of Christ, we acknowledge that there is no other God but the One and Triune God, and only in Jesus Christ is there salvation.

Today, in the current cultural context and occasionally even in the ecclesial context, acknowledging this is truly prophetic.

So it is that in repeating ‘do whatever He tells you’, Mary is in fact inviting us to be prophets.

Not only is she is inviting us to repeat her words at Cana in an attitude of humble obedience to Divine Revelation, but she is asking us to allow the Holy Spirit to shape our hearts and our minds so that this sanctification may sustain our efforts that our entire existence may become ‘prophetic,’ and just as in Cana, a proclamation of Christ, of His presence, and of the salvation that He brings.

Certainly today, in an old and tired Europe, we have to acknowledge that being a true believer and one who accepts Divine Revelation in its entirety is to be counter cultural – and as a result we will be mocked from certain quarters.

In which regard, the words of the Sermon on the Mount come to mind ‘Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me’ (Mt 5:11).

Precisely for this reason it is a prophetic act to proclaim the truth of the Lamb of God, that sacrificed itself to carry the sins of the world without uttering a word.

Such prophetic acts are a gift of the Holy Spirit and require the gift of fortitude.

Ultimately, such behaviour is one of the most obvious expressions of the ‘vicarious atonement’ which Fatima reminds us that Christians must learn to undertake in relation to Humanity: the prayer and penance which through charity flows through the veins of the Mystical Body.

Thank you, Our Lady of Fatima, you support us as you did your Son as we ascend Calvary, you help us in the difficult challenge of bearing witness, thank you for with us and for us, you continue to ‘crush the snake’s head’ which is always undermining the truth of faith with lies, and the purity of life with temptations and compromises.

For two thousand years, through the action of the Church and in particular through the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist, knowledge of the singularity of Christ has reverberated in the world in which the Church affirms and sees accomplished ‘all that she herself is and all that she herself believes’.1

So it is then that ‘Do whatever He tells you’ anticipates the Last Supper when Jesus commanded the Apostles to ‘Do this in memory of me.’

 

Edited and adapted from Cardinal Piacenza’s homily given on Wednesday 13 September 2017 at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima during ACN’s international pilgrimage to mark the centenary of the apparitions at Fatima and to commemorate the 70 anniversary of the founding of Aid to the Church in Need.
1Dei Verbum, No. 8.

This article can be found in Mirror 0717.