Fr. Martin’s reflection on - Our Lady’s Message
25th March 2021
“Dear children! Also today I am with you to tell you: Little children, who prays does not fear the future and does not lose hope. You are chosen to carry joy and peace, because you are mine. I have come here with the name 'Queen of Peace' because the devil wants peacelessness and war, he wants to fill your heart with fear of the future - but the future is God's. That is why, be humble and pray, and surrender everything into the hands of the Most High Who created you. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Dear Brothers and Sister’s of Medjugorje North East and beyond. Let us turn to the Holy Scriptures to help us in our reflection, as we ponder together the words of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace. In St. Matthew’s Gospel Jesus tells us, “ That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and what you are to wear. Surely, life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Your Heavenly Father knows what you need. Set, your hearts on his Kingdom first. So do not worry about tomorrow, how much more will he look after you of little Faith. (Matthew: 6:30-31. 34.)
In this month’s message Our Lady uses the phrase ‘The Future’ three times. Thrice she calls us away from worry and anxiety and to turn in trust towards our Heavenly Father “Because the future is God’s.” Rather Our Lady invites us to a spirit of ‘Abandonment to providence’ and to entrust our lives to God the Creator. “Into the hands of the Most High who created you.”
This month’s message reminds us of our true dignity as Children of God, created in His image and likeness, with an eternal destiny for our future. ‘I believe in God the Father Almighty, CREATOR of Heaven and earth’ we profess in the Creed each Sunday, and these words are the highpoint of this month’s message coming at the very end of the reflection. We would do well to reflect upon this last sentence of the March message, as it remind’s us of who we really are, that our lives have ultimate meaning in God, the “Most High”, we are not some casual product discarded from evolution, a collection of chemicals and gasses, but we are the children of God Created by the Most High.
At the start of the apparitions, (June 1981) Mary asked the parishioners to reflect on St. Matthew’s Gospel, 6.: 24-34, each Thursday evening during Adoration. This text helps us to reflect on our attitude towards the future, and gives us three key points; two we should not do at all, and one that we must absolutely do.
a) We cannot serve both God and money. We have to choose our Master. Either God or material things. This is an invitation to trust. If we give the first place to God, then everything we really need will follow. Peace and Joy in the heart will be felt.
b) We should not be anxious or worried. Neither for our life nor for ‘the future’. Faith should be the driving force, a Faith that helps us to abandon our lives to Divine providence. The ‘Most High’ knows what we need. For he is our Creator. The Gospel calls us to live in the present moment.
c) We are called to first ‘seek the Kingdom’ This means identifying what makes us worried and anxious, and then rearranging our scale of priorities. What is the most important thing this day for me? What can I do without, and what should I give up? To really see each day as a gift to be lived in Gratitude to the ‘Most High’.
In the moments before Holy Communion when the Priest prays the ‘Peace Prayer of our Lord, we hear these words; “Deliver us Lord from every evil, and graciously grant peace in our day, in your mercy keep us free from sin, and save us from all distress as we await the Blessed Hope of the coming of Our Saviour.” This is the moment when we should ‘surrender everything into the hands of the Most High who created you.’ This is a powerful moment of entrustment to the living God of the whole of our lives.
To experience divine providence we must have the Humility and Faith and Courage to ‘surrender’ ourselves to God in love, like Mary at the Annunciation ,like the Apostles when they were called by Galilee, like all the Saints who learnt what real trust was like. Our Lady wants us to know and live free from the fear of what the future is, because ‘the future is God’s, and we are in his hands.’ Having Christ at the centre of each day, frees us from all fear.
I would like to conclude with the prayer of St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Ignatius
Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you.
All thing’s pass away,
God never changes,
Patience obtains all thing’s,
He who has God,
find’s he lacks nothing,
God alone suffices.
The prayer of Surrender by St. Ignatius of Loyola.
Take Lord receive all my freedom, accept the whole of my memory, understanding and will. Whatever I have comes from you, from your bounty. I give it all back to you. Surrender it all to the guidance of your will. Your grace and love are enough for me. Give me only your love and your grace , these are enough for me. Your love and your grace, that’s enough for me. Take Lord receive all I have and possess. Dispose of me wholly according to your will, now I return them. Give me only your love and your grace, are enough for me. Amen!
A Blessed Easter. Fr. Martin