Fr. Martin’s reflection on - Our Lady’s Message
25th June 2019
“ Dear children, I am thanking God for each of you. In a special way, little children, thank you for having responded to my call. I am preparing you for the new times that you may be firm in faith and persevering in prayer, so that the Holy Spirit may work through you and renew the face of the earth. I am praying with you for peace which is the most precious gift, even though Satan wants war and hatred. You, little children, be my extended hands and proudly go with God. Thank you for having responded to my call. ”
Dear Brothers and Sisters of Medjugorje North East and beyond.
For thirty-eight years now Our Lady Queen and Mother of Peace has been with us in a special way with her maternal presence. This is the fundamental message of Medjugorje; the presence of Our Lady. She is Mother of the Church, who at the very beginning gathered the apostles around her in the Cenacle in Jerusalem and prayed as they awaited the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. (Acts: 1: 12-14)
Let us keep before us this image of Our Lady in Prayer with the Apostles as we begin our reflection, for we see Our Lady emphasising the coming of a new Pentecost in the Church and the world in this month's message. In a way when we really ponder this month's message, we realise the significance of Our Lady's words now, and how they put into perspective the Medjugorje Apparitions these past thirty-eight years.
Our Lady's presence is the sign for our times. She gives the main message of Peace, Conversion of life, Prayer, Fasting and Faith.
Her presence with the Church at this time is to accompany us on the pilgrim path of life to help us. The most important message is prayer. Without prayer, no programme can continue." Prayer means nothing else but contact with God.”
For thirty-eight years now pilgrims have returned home from Medjugorje with the gift of Prayer of the heart, a profound deep spirit of prayer founded on faith and love for God. The main condition for prayer and for a life that is to become prayer is love. Without love, nothing can become prayer, for example, the Rosary or the Holy Mass, only become real prayer through the love with which they are being lived. So, love is not a nice feeling, but a decision of the heart to live each day for God and with God. Love is a grace and we need to pray every day for that grace.
Our Lady begins this month’s message by saying, " I am thanking God for each of you, in a special way." Please note the personal emphasis here, Mary refers to 'each of you’ Me and you, every one of us is special to her, her children. She is your Heavenly Mother. She is filled with gratitude for each one of us. That is why her presence is so powerfully felt in these times in Medjugorje.
Our Lady continues with the words of Thanksgiving to underscore the point. "Little children, Thank you for having responded to my call.” " Normally these words are at the end of the monthly message, but here three times Mary uses the words 'Thank you.' These words are addressed to each and every person who responded to her presence in Medjugorje, and all who take the message seriously. Our Lady is grateful for all our efforts.
"I am preparing you for the new times that you may be firm in faith and persevering in prayer." Our Lady is focused on the future, the new springtime for the Church, the new Pentecost. But to arrive at that point she tells us two things that are paramount to her plan. Faith and persevering prayer. To believe the Faith of the Church, to have Faith in her Son Jesus, to have a strong Faith in the church today, is foundational to the new times. “Believe and pray to the Father to increase your Faith, and then ask what you need." says the message of 25th April 1988.
The evangelist Luke tells us that the disciples asked Jesus: "Lord, teach us to pray." (Luke: 11: 1-13)
Prayer is gift given according to our desire. " I would like to teach you to pray said, Mary. (12th June 1986.) "Ask God to come to your aid, but not according to your wishes, but according to his love. Forget your desires and pray for what God wants." Let us pray often the Apostles Creed and ask the Lord to strengthen the gift of Faith in our lives. Persevering prayer will bring us to the new times. To pray with Love and Faith, with firm belief and expectancy is the spirit of prayer we open our hearts to."
Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on God's saving love, and all these other things will be given you as well. (Matt; 6.33)
“So that the Holy Spirit may work through you and renew the face of the earth." Our Lady is calling us to rouse from a spiritual slumber that has overtaken vast sections of the Church and the world in these times. She rouses us to a deep spiritual life. She calls us to a profound spiritual renewal, that the Holy spirit may come to dwell in us and in the world in fullness. Mary belongs to God with her whole being, spirit, soul and body.
She said: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my Spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, because he has looked upon the humility of his servant." (Luke: 1:46)
The word humility comes from the word humus meaning soil of the ground in which God blew the breath of his life, his own spirit. (Genesis 2:7) (John: 20:22) So Mary calls us to put aside our old selves, which belongs to an old way of life, and be renewed in spirit, in order to put on the New Man to bear the fruit of the Holy spirit; Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Trustfulness, Gentleness and Self-control. (Gal: 5. 22-23)
"I am praying with you for peace which is the most precious gift, even though satan wants war and hatred." The word peace was the first word Mary spoke in Medjugorje. The restlessness in people’s hearts is due to a disconnect from the life of the spirit of God. Our inner peace depends on our nearness to Jesus. Satan whispers distrust in Jesus in the ears of so many. Weakened Faith in Christ and the Church makes things easier for Satan, the enemy of man.
But Mary is the Queen of Peace, the woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and with stars around her head. She is fighting alongside the faithful against the deceiver. she will be victorious in bringing the church to the new time, so that the Holy spirit may renew the face of the earth. She needs our help, and our faith in her Son Jesus Christ Our Lord. The best weapons we have are Prayer and Fasting.
"You little children, be my extended hands and proudly go with God."
"Breath on me breath of God, fill me with life anew,
that I may love what thou dost love,
and do what thou dost do.
Breathe on me breath of God,
till I am wholly thine, until this earthly part of me glows with thy fire divine.
Breath on me breath of God, until my heart is pure,
until with thee I have one will,
to do and to endure.
Breathe on me breath of God,
so, shall I never die,
but live with thee the perfect life,
of thine eternity. (Edwin Hatch)
God Bless, Fr. Martin