by Fr Richard Heilman | October 13, 2021 9:56 AM
I believe it is no accident that, in today’s Gospel, Jesus unleashes very harsh deprecations of the spiritual leaders of his day on this anniversary of the October 13, 1917 miracle of the Sun in Fatima. Jesus had tried everything else to “move them,” but finally needed to resort to harsh “manner and tone” to convince them they were ineffective in leading souls to God, and away from Satan.
In essence, Jesus was saying, “This is very serious! You are the spiritual leaders! If truth does not come from you, then these souls are abandoned to believe the propaganda and indoctrination of the world and the prince of the world! You must be clear in your teachings! And, if necessary, stress the seriousness of this matter through fiery tone and manner, as I am modeling for you right now!”
What’s that like? It is exactly what is happening today. First, let’s look at some dates.
I am among those who believe we just passed through the 100 years of the reign of Satan. On October 13, 1884, Pope Leo XIII heard Satan ask God for 75-100 years to have dominion over mankind. According to Pope Leo XIII, Satan was granted the time to test mankind in unknown ways. Exactly 33 years later – the span of Christ’s life – we were given Our Lady’s warning in Fatima with the miracle of the sun on October 13, 1917. Many, including me, believe the 100 years of Satan began that day.
What happened in 1917? Communism, along with atheism, erupted into the world. Also, the Church became more assertive in promulgating a new era in which a more enlightened period would reign … one in which science would negate notions of the supernatural. Satan’s greater strength came through our weakened belief in the power of God.
The Latin phrase, motus in fine velocior, is commonly used to indicate the faster passing of the time at the end of an historical period. I’ve heard it said that it means, “Things accelerate toward the end.” We are living through an historical hour which is not necessarily the end of times, but certainly could be marked as the end of an era.
The past 50 years have seen this “acceleration” of the war against the supernatural. Yet, toward the end of those 50 years, we have also witnessed a restoration of the sacred, especially under the strong spiritual leadership of Pope Benedict XVI. Things such as clear teachings on sanctifying grace and the great gift of the Sacrament of Penance, encouragement of Eucharistic Adoration, reverent Masses, devotion to the Blessed Mother, etc. have all contributed to an increase in supernatural strength among the faithful, helping them to surpass the supernatural strength of Satan.
What we are experiencing now, in these four years beyond the 100 year reign of Satan is a kind of temper tantrum, as Satan and those under his power are throwing everything, including the kitchen sink, in order to regain their “domination.” This is leading to Satan’s ultimate demise, as he and his minions are “over-reaching” and exposing themselves. We are in the thick of a very intense “Lepanto-like” battle, and our spiritual leaders simply must get out of their bunkers and up on the battlefield to lead us to victory!
I believe this Gospel falling on this day is Christ’s way of saying, “The time is NOW!! We need you, spiritual leaders!! We need you to be brave and bold and willing to be as abrasive – with tone and manner to stress the seriousness off the matter – as I am modeling for you in this Gospel!!”
Today’s sermon speaks to the above:
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