Mystery of a Grace: can still be discovered
At Conclusion of Jubilee Year
There is a message that Mary leaves us; a message without words, that is expressed with extraordinary intensity at MEDJUGORJE. The most precious, it gives meaning and fertility to every other message. I am speaking of the current of grace, that through her living presence, is communicated to souls with the unspeakable power of love.
This grace began to be manifest with the start of an event that though collocated in space and time, it gushes forth from the mystery of God’s Heart. During the second vespers, on the solemnity of John the Baptist 26 years ago the Mother of God appeared to six young people on a hill in an unknown village of Herzegovina, and presented herself to the world: “I am the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of Peace” (message, 26 June 1981). With this unexpected irruption of mystery in a poor farming village in a remote corner of Christian Europe, amidst the absolute indifference of the world’s great, including the powerful mass media of our hyper civilized world, the Heavens opened up and gave way to the beginning of a mysterious spiritual dynamic that is transforming hearts of a multitude of God’s children.
People began to go to Medjugorje, first from the closer regions, then gradually from every continent, bringing thousands of men and women to the place which Mary herself calls the fount of grace. “Dear Children, You are responsible for the messages I give. Here one finds the fountain of grace, and you my Children, are the vessels upon which these gifts are conveyed. Hence, my Children, I call you to carry out this service with responsibility. Each one in the measure of his ability. I call you to distribute the gifts to others with love. Do not keep them for yourselves. Thank you for responding to my call.” ( Mess. 8.05.1986 ).
Very Special Plan
These accounts are familiar to anyone who has even superficially come into contact with the grace of Medjugorje. It is clear, however, that if this was all there was it would be an event which fascinates, but which lacks the founding element of every authentic spiritual grace, which is to involve souls in Christ’s great work of saving the world. Yet many (even illustrious) workers seem to have reduced Medjugorje to the simple label of “Marian Shrine,” to little more than a devotion towards a Madonna whose main task is to satisfy the requests of pilgrims to make their life in this “valley of tears” more bearable. If it is true that special graces at Medjugorje have been copious and absolutely extraordinary, it is also ever more evident that it is all part of an incredible plan of grace of cosmic dimensions which goes way beyond the narrow spiritual schemes some try to confine it to.
Three focal points
Careful consideration of the three important focal points chosen at the beginning by Mary in Medjugorje (Podbrdo, Krizevac and the Parish Church) helps us to intuit the depth of this special grace which God is offering to the world through the presence of the Queen of Peace. It is a dynamic grace bearing the seal of the Trinitarian mystery being communicated to souls to help them advance spiritually. The graces may vary, but together they form an inseparable unity, somewhat like the petals of a rose.
In particular, on Podbordo Mary makes her presence almost tangible to involve us in the mystery of her Immaculacy and allow us to enjoy its fulfilment in us. On Krizevac Mary communicates to us her total offering which is perfectly united to the offering of the Lamb, in the sign of the glorious Cross. And from the pierced Heart of the Son is born the mystery of the Church, the perennial fount of His Love that moulds together souls so as to form the one Eucharistic Body of Christ. The Eucharist is the sacrament of the new creation for the entire universe and is symbolically represented by the church, home for the Parish Community.
It is not by chance that Mary has appeared for such a long time and in such a special way at these three places of grace, as if to lead us on a spiritual journey that brings us to progressively participate in her mission as co-redemptrix.
Places of Communion
However, what is becoming ever more evident is that Medjugorje seems to be the “mustard seed” of a far greater plan of grace destined to involve all the souls of all creation. Many concordant signs and the clear prophetic announcement by the Queen of Peace seem to illumine the skies with the defi nitive fulfilment of that “mystery of His will” (Eph. 1:9) announced by Scripture, “that is, the plan to recapitulate all things in Christ, things in heaven and things on earth” (Eph. 1:10).
The same current of grace communicated to souls in these places chosen by Mary at Medjugorje is being made manifest with similar, if not greater intensity in new places of spirituality, to favour vital communion with Her Immaculate Heart; places chosen by her to personally guide her children even with special gifts and charismas. These are destined to spread and multiply all over the world according to an unfathomable design of grace written in the Heart of God, to completely regenerate the members of the Mystical Body of the Son, in the light of the nuptial mystery of the Lamb that was slain (Rev 19:7), “that he might present the church to himself in splendour, without spot or wrinkle… that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27).
New Spiritual Families
For this reason, starting from the founding grace of Medjugorje, which had already made the seed germinate through Jelena’s prayer group, Mary has been generating new spiritual families. Through these she multiplies her special presence in the world, though in different ways, with the same intensity and reality with which she began appearing to the (Medju) visionaries. These new communities are at times called “fruits” of the grace of Medjugorje. They share the same spiritual seal of the great fi res of grace found at Medjugorje. She brings together chosen souls called to live out the mystery of her Immaculacy and her total offering - in union with the sacrifi cial offering of the Immolated Lamb, and with the fi re of the Trinitarian love.
Through the unreserved yes of souls chosen and called by Mary, she desires communicating this same call to all creation: “Dear Children, today I rejoice with you and I call you to open yourselves to me and to become instruments in my hands for the salvation of the world… I desire that you bring holiness to this world which hungers for God and His love” ( Mess. 25.03.1994 ). It is only this way that death, in all its expressions, will be defi nitely consumed by Love, and the entire universe can be fully recapitulated in Christ, and be offered up to the Father: “For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death… that God may be everything to everyone” (1Cor 15: 25-26.28).