Fr. Martin’s reflection on - Our Lady’s Message
25th April 2019
“ Dear children, This is a time of grace, a time of mercy for each of you. Little children do not permit that the wind of hatred and peacelessness rule in you and around you. You, little children, are called to be love and prayer. The devil wants peacelessness and disorder, but you, little children, be the joy of the risen Jesus who died and resurrected for each of you. He conquered death to give you life, eternal life. Therefore, little children, witness and be proud that you have resurrected in Him.
Thank you for having responded to my call. ”
Brothers and Sisters of Medjugorje North East and beyond,
In this month’s message Our Lady Queen and Mother of Peace reminds us the sole reason for the existence of the Church, and what it means to be a Christian. Our Lady is the Mother of the Church and she focuses us on the essential message of Christianity in this reflection. It is the Easter proclamation of the Church, that Jesus Christ Crucified, is risen from the dead, and has forgiven our sins through His blood, and will come again in glory. (1: Corinthians. 15:1-4)
In AD56 St. Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth to remind them of this truth:
"Christ died for our sins, He rose on the third day and He will come again."
We would do well to reflect on this piece of Scripture regularly and to commit it to memory, because it is the basic message of the Church. It is this central truth of the Church, it’s the primary message, that Our Lady reminds us of in the Easter season. It is the same message proclaimed by the Apostles in the days following the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ. “You Little children, be the Joy of the risen Jesus who died and resurrected for each of you. He conquered death to give you life, eternal life. Therefore, little children, witness and be proud that you have resurrected in him.”
So many people feel that God is distant from them, so Our Lady asks us to be like the Apostles and be the Joy of the Risen Jesus. It is a personal assurance that each believer has received in the Cross and Resurrection of Our Lord. “For each of you” says the Mother of God. When we have encountered this marvellous gift of salvation in Christ then we can be the joy of the Risen Jesus. Our friendship with the risen Jesus radiates the beautiful truth that He is with us and for us. “Emmanuel, God for us and with us.” This is the security of our lives, to know that Jesus Christ died for us and rose for us. True Christian joy has its source in the risen Lord Jesus, the central truth of the Church’s proclamation. This is why maybe so many pilgrims flock and gather around the statue of the Risen Christ in Medjugorje and find there, tenderness and healing for their souls.
Our Lady knows that many people in the world are living without real joy, and so she points us to the real treasure of the faith of the Church. This is real Joy, to know Christ Crucified and the power of his Resurrection. Our Lady is asking us to be the Apostles today and become “the Joy of the risen Jesus who died and resurrected for all.”
When we are in contact with the Risen Jesus, especially in the Holy Mass, then we have a deep inner grace that keeps the heart open to God, for ourselves and for others. This is why on so many times Our Lady has asked us to "Celebrate Holy Mass with Faith, with the heart’ For a true sense of Joy comes from the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. When we go to Jesus with an open heart and place ourselves in His Risen and Glorified Presence then Joy and Strength comes to us.
We Christians are called to show Joy and Hope where there is sadness and disorder, to be Peace and Reconciliation where there is peacelessness. To be the consolation of those who are discouraged.
May we often remember to pray before the cross of Christ, to shelter in His wounds, to take the crucifix in our hands, and to pray: “Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for me, through the power of your holy cross, do not allow disorder and peacelessness to reign in me, but conquer my heart with your peace and grace. For by your wounds we are healed."
We must claim the victory that Christ won for us in his Cross and Resurrection, by praying the Holy Mass from the heart too.
Brothers and sisters, after the Resurrection of Jesus, we read in the Acts of the Apostles, " With one heart all these joined in constant prayer with Mary the Mother of Jesus.” ( Acts 1: 14)
Our Lady goes to the upper room in Jerusalem, the place of the Eucharist and with the Apostles prays from the heart. Mary, is doing this once more in Medjugorje, she is the Mother of the Church, and is guiding the Church in these times.
Let us pray,
Create in me a deep love for the central message of your Gospel.
A love for your Cross and Resurrection.
May it burn in my heart, fill my mind, and light up my path, so that I may be your Apostle of Love today."
"But we believe, that if we have died with Christ, then we shall live with Him too. We know that Christ has been raised from the dead and will never die again. Death has no more power over him. For by dying he is dead to sin once and for all, and now the life he lives is a life with God. In the same way you must think of yourselves as being dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus."
(Romans: 6: 8-11)
“Therefore little children,
witness and be proud
that you have
resurrected in him.”