Fatima Anniversary Calls Us to Prayer in 2017

fatima
The Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. Image Source.

Msgr. Charles Pope opened the new year with a profound blog post for Community in Mission that reflects both on the significance of 2017 being the one-hundredth anniversary of the miracle at Fatima and why we should heed a special call to prayer this year.

By Msgr. Charles Pope

Last week at Christmas we celebrated an event that was both pivotal and hidden. The conception and birth of Jesus Christ were events that changed human history. It was a daring, hidden raid by the Kingdom of Light into the kingdom of darkness, an incursion behind enemy lines, into enemy territory. Only some shepherds in Bethlehem and a few magi from distant lands were witnesses to this event, one which began the undoing of the long reign of sin.

St. Paul hints at this drama in today’s second reading: When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman (Gal 4:4). Yes, all time meets here. The long reign of sin is ending; Our Savior stealthily emerges to begin His work of giving us a way out. The wall has been breached and will one day wholly crumble.

Even Satan, to whom we often attribute exaggerated powers, seems unaware. The later visit of the Magi makes him suspicious, but even with that, his knowledge is lacking. Through his agent, Herod, he stabs wildly, searching for the interloper, but he misses the mark. Jesus eludes him for another thirty years, preparing for a final showdown that will seal Satan’s fate as the great loser.

Something happened that quiet Christmas night, enormous in its implications but mostly hidden and unnoticed. A ray of light flashes in a darkened world, just long enough to be remembered by a few. It is like a seed that is sown; it remains hidden for a time, but later yields a harvest that will undermine the world of darkness.

I offer all of this as a prelude to a year that I think will be significant for the Church and for the world . . . . Continue reading here.