God’s Commands, Lady of Fatima’s Message

Word Alive–Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD / May 17, 2020 /6th Sunday of Easter

Once a Jew was arguing with a Christian. “Your whole religion is based on ours,” the Jew said. “Why, you even took the 10 Commandments from us.”
“We may have taken them,” said the Christian, “but you certainly cannot say we’ve kept them.”

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In this 6th Easter Sunday, Christ teaches that what’s crucial is not just possessing or knowing the commandments but OBEYING them.
The Lord says, “Anybody who receives my commandments and keeps them will be one who loves me” (Jn 14,23).

Many of us go to Sunday Mass because failure to do so means committing a mortal sin, and if we die unrepentant, we go to Hell.
We obey God’s commandments out of fear of punishment. Jesus tells us that we should do it for love.

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On the human side, we regard laws and rules as curtailment of our freedom. Take for example the lockdown and quarantines that are imposed by the government. Many do not realize that if such restrictions are not implemented and obeyed during these Covid19 pandemic times, there will be a devastating outbreak and will cause massive contamination and deaths all over the world. Hence, laws are there not to restrict our freedom or make life harder but rather serve for our own good.

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LADY OF FATIMA’S MESSAGE. Last May 13, the Catholic World commemorated the first apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three shepherd children, to whom she appeared six times.
Her feast is timely and relevant because her message speaks of obedience to God’s command which is the theme of today’s gospel.

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She stressed in her apparitions the need for conversion and repentance of sins. in short, to follow God’s commands.
In her message to the young visionaries, she said: “They (people) must amend their lives and ask forgiveness for their sins. Do not offend the Lord our God anymore, because He is already so much offended.”

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And “so that all may believe my words,” the Lady promised to Lucia that she would perform a miracle on her sixth and last apparition on October 13, 1917,

About 70,000 people converged at Cova da Iria in Central Portugal. It rained continuously, soaking everyone to the bones. The people were getting restless and impatient. But at midday, Lucia cried out: “Silence! Be quiet! Our Lady is coming!”

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“ What do you want of me?” she asked for the last time. The Lady answered: “I want a chapel to be built here…I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue to pray always the Rosary. The war is going to end.”
Avelino de Almeida, special reporter for the anti-clerical daily “O Seculo,” narrated: “The sun looked like a plaque of dull silver, and it was possible to look at it without the least discomfort.

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“Before the astonished eyes of the crowd pallid with fear, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws. All eyes were fixed on the sky and then began to dance until it seemed that it was being detached from the sky and was falling upon us!

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“Many cried out: ‘O Jesus! We are all going to die!’ Others pleaded: ‘Our Lady, help us!’ There were some people who confessed their sins out loud. Finally, the sun returned and stood still in its usual place. One last inexplicable marvel—all those people who been drenched by the rain were completely dry!”

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HUMAN VULNERABILITY. In this time when the most powerful nations and best scientists of the world are helpless in subduing the corona virus pandemic, let the miracle be an eye-opener for us and turn in faith and humility to God from whom many are moving away. God is under control and before Him we are puny creatures.

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As Jesus in the gospel today tells us, “If you love me, KEEP my commandments.” That, too, is the reminder of the Lady of Fatima for all of us.

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THE LIGHTER SIDE. When Pope John XXIII opened the letter passed on to him by the visionary, Sr. Lucy, the Holy Father was dumbfounded. The letter contained our Lord’s unpaid bill of the Last Supper–with compounded monthly interest!

That’s just a joke. The truth is the letter predicted the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II which happened on May 13, 1981.

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