Fr. Martin’s reflection on - Our Lady’s Message
25th December 2021
“Dear children, Today I am carrying my Son Jesus to you, for Him to give you His peace. Little children, without peace you do not have a future or blessing; therefore return to prayer, because the fruit of prayer is joy and faith, without which you cannot live. Today's blessing which we give you, carry to your families and enrich all those whom you meet, that they may feel the grace which you are receiving.
Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Dear Brothers and Sisters of Medjugorje North East and beyond,
A Happy and Blessed New Year to all.
We begin this New Year by reflecting on our Lady's message of Christmas Day, as it points us forward, encouraging us towards the right disposition for our future.
How to live,
How to believe,
How face the future with Mary Mother of God.
So Mary, begins, “Today I am carrying my Son Jesus to you, for him to give you his peace."
In the year 431, the council of Ephesus decreed that Mary is 'Mother of God.' The term used was 'Theotokos' - 'God-Bearer.' –
Mother of the Incarnate God.
As The Mother of God she wants us only to know him who is our Saviour, Jesus Christ, The Word made Flesh.
Mary carries her Son Jesus to us because she knows the deepest need of every human heart is for love, to receive and return love.
In The infant Jesus, cradled in her arms, (like the very first apparition, June 24th 1981) we see the humility of God, and the self-emptying of his love.
Mary shows us the true face of The Lord, in her arms, offered to us. In the Christ Child, Our Lady shows us our deepest need, our yearning for peace and fulfilment. Our Lady comes to us today, 'carrying' her Son Jesus to us, because he is our Peace. Mary wishes us to have the gift of interior peace within us this coming year.
" My Peace I leave you, my Peace I give you, a Peace the world cannot give, that is my gift to you." (John : 14: 27)
Maybe it is good to have an image of Our Lady carrying the Christ Child, in our homes, and so have before us always, a reminder of the source of our peace.
"Little Children, without peace you do not have a future or blessing, therefore return to prayer."
So, Our Lady points out the path before us. She speaks of our future at the start of this New Year and reminds us that our future days must be lived in peace. True life is life with God and his commandments, and Mary desires that we follow this path for the future.
That is why she asks us to 'return to prayer.' Because the fruit of prayer is peace. So let us decide for Prayer today and every day, because Prayer is contact with God, and God is our Peace. This is the way forward into our future days.
"Return to Prayer, because the fruit of Prayer is Joy and Faith, without which you cannot live.”
Let us remember these two spiritual gifts Our Lady mentions. 'Joy and Faith.'
For two consecutive months Our Lady has asked us to pray for the gift of Joy.
We have the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary to help us foster this Joyful spirit within us.
Mary knows that there may be forces at work in the world that will make the Church Joyless, and so our lives become joyless!
Mary warns us against this temptation. Rather the Christian is one who knows the Joy of The Lord, and the Joy of his Salvation.
The one who believes can only be a diffuser of Christian Joy and let us remember what Mary said last month.
" The one who prays does not fear the future." Mary calls us to 'Joyful Faith' because discouragement and negativity are the weapons of the evil one. So maybe we could all recommit and reflect on how we pray the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary, cultivating 'Joyful Faith' in our lives.
"Today's Blessing which we give you, carry to your families and enrich all those whom you meet, that they may feel the grace which you are receiving." As Mary carries little Jesus to us, so she asks us to do as she does. To become carriers of Blessings of Peace to our families and all whom we meet. As Mary is The God-Bearer, so too each one of us, each in our own way, have contact with God, in the Church, in the Sacramental life, in our shared Faith. We go like her as Other Christs, members of his body, sent to 'ENRICH' the lives of others.
"THAT THEY MAY FEEL THE GRACE WHICH YOU ARE RECEIVING."
Like Our Lady at the Visitation, who went in Joyful Hope to Elizabeth, Mary reminds us that we have been Blessed by Heaven, and we have Grace to share. Mary does not ask us to say anything, or perform any particular action; she says, " That they may feel the Grace."
As Mary is Theotokos for us, let us be aware of the Grace we are receiving in our lives of Faith and filled with Joyful Faith, become vessels of Grace by our very presence.