Dearest Brothers and Sisters, let us be vigilant in order that the ‘good wine’ of our faith does not run out and that the ‘good wine’ of our faith is not watered down by excessive worldliness, by its yielding to the seductions of the world and the dictatorship of ‘political correctness’ which is being widely promoted and which relentlessly seeks to underline our sense of the mystical.

Let us never permit our Eucharistic celebrations to become ‘weddings without the Bridegroom’:  that is, nondescript banquets of some commonplace celebration at which Christ the protagonist, the only Bridegroom of the Church, is absent. Dear friends, were this to be so, were the Bridegroom to be absent, the Bride would no longer be a bride. Were Christ not to be central in our Eucharistic celebrations, then the Church would lose her identity and as Pope Francis has warned, it would be reduced to being merely a non-governmental organisation.

Thank you, Our Lady of Fatima, because in this Eucharistic celebration we repeat again: ‘Do whatever He tells you’ and we obey the Lord’s command: ‘Do this in memory of me.’

To point to Christ and to invite men to fulfil His Will is precisely the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Indeed, there is no one who believes in Christ and loves Him more than she does, just as there is no one who loves the Blessed Virgin Mary more than her Son Jesus Christ.

‘Mary’s mission’ is expressed and is historically realised in this unique and unrepeatable relationship between Mother and Son, it is expressed and fulfilled in doing the Father’s Will, which began with the ‘Here I am’ of the Annunciation and has never ceased.

In fact, the Blessed One among women is the Woman of the ‘Here I am,’ the one who pronounces her ‘Here I am’ for eternity, even in the glory of Heaven.

In summary, we can almost say that the ‘Here I Am’ belongs to Marian Ontology: The Blessed Virgin was created to pronounce in love and freedom ‘Here I am.’

For this reason, for her total submission to the Divine Will, the ‘Ever Virgin’ has the authority and the power to say, ‘Do whatever He tells you’. She herself is the full expression of the Divine Will.

For this reason, we ourselves are sure that by obeying Mary’s invitation, Christ will also transform the water of our amphorae into excellent wine.

So it is that we are confident that offering to the Lord, the ‘amphorae’ of our lives, filled with the water of our freedom, He will refill them with ‘good wine’, with the wine of salvation, the wine of celebration and of joy, with that real sacramental presence that sees in the Eucharist the Lord’s greatest fulfilment.

In fact, there is no more complete or significant manifestation of God’s presence on earth than that of the Eucharist. In it, again and again, Christ gives Himself to the world; Christ gives Himself to each one of us. In it, again and again, He becomes the sole support of the life of the Church, the only food of the people walking in the desert, the only reason for which the Church exists and journeys as a pilgrim through time.

If in the Eucharist, Christ gives himself, again and again to humanity, then the One who once and for all gave Christ to the world cannot be absent from any Eucharistic celebration.

 

Adapted and Edited 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.

This article can be found in Mirror 0717.