Wednesday of the 5th week of Eastertide
13 May – Feast of Our Lady of Fatima
This feast commemorates the visions of Our Lady seen near Fátima in Portugal in 1917 by three shepherd children, Lúcia dos Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto. The visions occurred on the 13th day of each month from May to October, and by October huge crowds were gathering at the site of the visions and reporting visions and miraculous occurrences themselves.
Pope John Paul II was devoted to Our Lady of Fátima and attributed his survival of an assassin’s bullet on 13 May 1981 to her intervention. Jacinta and Francisco Marto, who died in the great Spanish Flu pandemic of 1919-20, were beatified on 13 May 2000.
Make your home in me, as I make mine in you.
In the ‘throwaway’ culture we are immersed in today, there is so much fast fashion, luxury goods, trading up and in, and, aiming for the next bigger and better consumer gadgets and stylised household furniture. This preoccupation with newer and seemingly better things can slowly numb our real search for identity and purpose.
I have started to ask: does a constant consumption of ephemeral and transient objects prevent me from dwelling in the deeper purpose of my needs? These questions arise because my family has had to repeatedly relocate in new countries and homes over recent years. I have been continually challenged to downsize, simplify, and eject possessions that do not cohere with our changing needs and apartment sizes. This repeated packing and unpacking, looking for a place to stay and then turning it into a home has provoked in me a strong question: ‘what remains with me when I consistently say goodbye’?
I would say, a forever-home is now something I greatly desire and need, to centre and anchor me as I grow as a wife and mother. I am aware that even this situation can change depending on where God calls us to. However, the real prize of a forever-home is one that we will find in Christ.
In the Gospel passage today, Jesus tells his disciples to picture their relationship and connection to him as though they were branches connected to him, the true life-giving vine. The real purpose of each branch that shoots is to bear leaves and fruit. Any branch that bears no fruit shall be cut away, collected, and thrown to the fire.
He urges them: Make your home in me, as I make mine in you. When we are truly grafted unto Christ the true vine, we would be so completely intertwined as one seamless structure. This is a beautiful image to aspire to for our relationship with him. To remain in him and hidden with him, is to also allow the vein of his Holy Word to course through our being. Only so would we be able to bear fruit as true disciples, true children of God. This fruit which we bring will be utterly Christ-derived in origin. Jesus promises this:
‘If you remain in me
and my words remain in you,
you may ask what you will
and you shall get it.
It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit,
and then you will be my disciples.’
Are you ready to make your forever-home in Him? Let us not fear! Let us not shirk from being fully grafted onto our Lord the true vine, even if it means shedding our earthly comforts and our flaws. His grace is enough for us.
(Today’s Oxygen by Debbie Loo)
Prayer: Lord I pray for the perseverance and joy to endure the pruning required of me as I am shaped for a holier and more fruitful life with you.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for your mercy of second chances for all the times I have chosen to walk apart from you. Thank you for always drawing me back with your love.