Homily for May 7, First Saturday Mass for World Peace
The disciples of Jesus were alone in a storm-tossed boat, when Jesus came to them walking on the water, and said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.” Immediately they arrived to the other shore. In 1917, the world was being rocked by a terrible war that neither diplomacy nor prayer had been able to avert. It might have seemed that God was absent. At that moment, on May 13, Mary appeared to three little shepherd children at Fatima in Portugal, and said, “Do not be afraid. I come from heaven.” She had been sent from God to give the world the message of prayer, conversion, reparation, and consecration to Her Immaculate Heart, to guide the people to that other shore of peace beyond the waves of armed conflict.
As we know, that message was not well accepted by all, and the Second World War broke out, as Mary had foretold. Even now, although Russia and the world have been consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, violence continues to afflict many nations, and mankind’s tendency to sin and selfishness continues to bear its deadly fruit.
That is why it continues to be necessary for us to gather together to pray for world peace, to offer our First Saturday communion in reparation, and to pray the Rosary. On one hand, we do it to make reparation for our own sins and to obtain the grace of our own salvation. But also, we do it for the salvation of all mankind, for the living and the deceased. Working for the good of others, no matter who they are, is an essential part of the Christian vocation. We can’t all dedicate ourselves full-time to serving others, like the deacons we see being chosen and ordained in the first reading today. However, the spiritual service of prayer and sacrifice is something we all can do, and which is no less important.
It’s always important to remember those words of Christ, echoed by Mary: “Do not be afraid.” God is always with us, and He shows His love and closeness in many ways. Mary’s appearances at Fatima and at other places around the world are an important expression of that love. Our salvation is so important to God, that the Father sent us His only Son, and – repeatedly in the past centuries – God the Son has sent us His Mother. Let us continue to honor these gifts by heeding the message of Fatima, for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which is the triumph of God’s love.