Imagine it is, 1917, and you live in Portugal, somewhere near a little town called Fatima. You’ve been hearing rumors of something strange happening there – three shepherd children who claim to see visions of the Blessed Mother. They say that they’ve seen her every month since May of that year. The officials, and even one of the girl’s parents, don’t believe any of it and think the children are lying. And yet . . . . what if they aren’t?
The children say that the Blessed Mother promised a miracle the next time she appears – on Oct. 13. Part of you doesn’t want any part of it – no sense borrowing trouble or getting mixed up with a bunch of lunatics who believe everything they hear. But the other part of you . . . . can’t help wonder . . . and hope . . . what if? What if she really is appearing to these children? What if God really is reaching out to us and has something important to tell us? What if?
That’s where we are now. If you were in Fatima, on Oct. 13, 1917, what would you have done? Would you have gone to the Cova? Even if it was just out of curiosity, would you have gone out to the field to see the miracle that was promised?
“Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36
How watchful are you? We spend our days running on autopilot, never stopping to look at the sunrise, the flowers, or just sitting and looking at the stars, but then, when something happens, or when we need to make a big decision, what is the first thing we say? “God! Send me a sign!!” How many signs does he send us, and we don’t even pay attention?
Many of you have heard of Fatima and the appearance of the Blessed Mother to the shepherd children in 1917. If you haven’t, it’s worth your time to read about it, or watch the movie, The 13th Day. Next year, on Oct. 13, 2017, it will be exactly 100 years since the Miracle of the Sun occurred in Fatima. It had been raining all day and the huge crowd of people (over 30,000 at the lowest estimate) were drenched, standing in the mud. When the children arrived, they told everyone to put their umbrellas away. The crowd complied and, shortly after, the sun came out from behind the clouds and appeared to start spinning in the sky! It spun, “danced,” and then plunged toward the earth!
The stunned crowd looked on in silence. A moment later, the sun returned to it’s normal position in the sky and stood still once again. As the people looked about them, they realized that they were dry. Completely dry! And the ground, moments before saturated and muddy, was also dry. In addition, the Miracle of the Sun, was reported up to 40 km away from Fatima, and covered in local newspapers.
The people who braved the rain, and the scorn of their friends and neighbors that day in 1917, didn’t know what they were going to see. All they knew was that there would be a miracle; that God was going to show them something – and that something, gave them hope.
We don’t know what the next year is going to bring. It might be a scary time, and we might see some horrible things, things we never expected to live through . . . or maybe not! I believe though, that God is trying to tell us something. Are we being watchful? Are we paying attention? More importantly, are we living each and every day in accordance with God’s will for our lives?
We have the total eclipse in August, 2017, the constellation of Virgo, crowned with 12 stars like the Woman of Revelation, in September, and the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun, in October. Like I said at the beginning of this series – I think this is going to be a very interesting year!
Do not be afraid. We are His people and He is our God! He has a plan, He is with us now and always, and He is showing us His great love and tender mercy. Be at peace. Be still, pray, and have hope.
See you after the election!