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It's a message centered on prayer, on penance and conversion, that is projected beyond the threats, dangers and horrors of history, inviting mankind to trust in the action of God, to cultivate great hope, to experience the grace of the Lord so as to fall in love with Him, source of all love and peace.
We are fast approaching the feast of Pentecost and, once again, be made aware of the presence, power and fruits of the Holy Spirit. For many of us, this feast only comes once a year and promptly places us in its midst and after that, it is put aside and life carries on like it did before.
The homily given by our Holy Father at Fatima, during his visit there recently, is a timely reminder that we need to recover our lifeline and relationship on a better footing with God, our Creator and Father.
It is certainly not an easy task when you have to juggle between what affects you in your daily dealings with the world and what is required of you as a follower of Christ and a member of the Catholic Church. We speak of the dichotomy that tends to exist between the two (world vs faith) and there are grounds for concern when one is torn or struggling to find one's proper footing in the effort to find the middle ground.
Thus, the homily given at Fatima carries with it profound elements of joy and peace that we can hold on to without having to wring our hands in panic and hopelessness in the face of great turmoil. When we begin to relate ourselves appropriately with God through prayer, penance and conversion, we can hear with acute distinction, the calming voice of the Father, "Be not afraid!". This therefore starts a whole new outlook in life where we begin to sense with greater assurance that God is in control and can be truly trusted.
It is a reminder for myself that even with what I am experiencing in the parish and elsewhere, in relation to the ministry, there is always this sliver of hope under every dark cloud.