The reflection of Medjugorje Message, December 25, 1997

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Medjugorje Message, December 25, 1997 [O]

Dear children! Also today I rejoice with you and I call you to the good. I desire that each of you reflect and carry peace in your heart and say: I want to put God in the first place in my life. In this way, little children, each of you will become holy. Little children, tell everyone, I want the good for you and he will respond with the good and, little children, good will come to dwell in the heart of each man. Little children, tonight I bring to you the good of my Son who gave His life to save you. That is why, little children, rejoice and extend your hands to Jesus who is only good. Thank you for having responded to my call.

I greet all those who are reading these reflections and wish you all a Joyous Christmas and a fruitful New Year. Again, let us remember the message of November 25, 1997, the message with which Mary wished to lead us into Advent. She called us to become conscious that we are Christians, that we become conscious of our Christian vocation. She is our teacher and mother because she told us that she was leading us and still leads us through this time of grace. She wanted us to live our Christian lives very clearly in that we, in every situation, in everything that we do, with every one of our decisions, say, I am a Christian and I place love over everything. Because only through love can a Christian life develop. Without love, as St. Paul says, everything is nothing. And for this love one must pray every day. Mary wanted us to become joyous Christians and to live our vocation joyously, because again, St. Paul tells us, the joyous giver loves God. She wanted this love to open and undo all the chains in our hearts, so that our hands may become free and joyfully extended toward all people, but most especially toward the non-believers. We do not want to forget that Mary called us through Mirjana that we must pray for those who have not yet experienced the love of God. But the reason and the condition for everything that she tells us is prayer, and she repeated it three times, pray, pray, pray that our hearts may open themselves, and that we become sensitive toward the word of God. The key that opens the heart is love, and if we love we will also listen. If we love, then we also become sensitive for the word of God. So, our assignment before Christmas should, according to that message, consist of our working on our hearts to open themselves so that we should ask ourselves what it is that closes our hearts from God and from the others. In order to be very clear about what it means to become sensitive toward the word of God, let us think about a child that cries at home because its mother is not there. As soon as the mother says, "Have no fear, I am here", the child will stop crying because it is sensitive toward the mother's word. In the same way Mary wants us to become sensitive toward the word of God. If God says, "Pray, love, forgive, have no fear", then we should really react in the same way as the child does to its mother words. Such a reaction would free us from all those many excuses that we are so prone to use. How often do we say, "I cannot forgive, I cannot love, I cannot pray, because it is this way or that way"? Every time that we find or follow an excuse, then it means that we believe and follow our excuses, our tendencies, our woundedness, our pride more than God Himself. And, I hope that this Feast of Christmas has shown us that we can become sensitive toward the word of God.

Medjugorje really lived Advent intensely. While there were perhaps not so many pilgrims here, there were constantly groups from different countries that lived this Advent with us. For Christmas itself, we had more pilgrims and especially so from France. And during the week before New Year, we are expecting a great number of pilgrims because it has already become a tradition that we have a special vigil on the last day of the year. This year as well, we will begin to sing at 9:30 p.m., then we start adoring, the Mass starts at 11:30, so that exactly at midnight Consecration will occur. This then is the reality that God is with us. God transformed the bread into the body of His Son, Jesus Christ. That is the beginning of the new world and the beginning of the new time, and there will certainly be many Priests who will be speaking the words that Jesus entrusted to His Apostles -- "This is my body that is being offered for you. This is my blood that is being shed for you." This is the reason for our being, our hope, and also our prayer -- that Jesus may say these words over every one of us, over every family and community so that He may change us all and make us able to accept the new time out of His love for us, and then for us to live the new time in His love. I also invite all those for whom it is possible to organize something, and that they may then also do it. May it really through the grace of God and in this Year of the Holy Spirit become possible that we may become new people.

At the moment all the visionaries are here in Medjugorje, except for Ivan and his family who are in the U.S. Marija, with her husband and three children, came shortly before Christmas and are staying until January 5. Vicka, Mirjana and Jacov are here at home and, as always, they are ready to share their testimonies with the pilgrims. We all certainly wish the visionaries much strength, perseverance and God's blessings that they may live their responsibilities well, and that they may really stay good witnesses for God's love toward us all in these times.

The message of December 25 is a true Christmas message. Mary says...

ALSO TODAY I REJOICE WITH YOU

The joy that Mary carries in her heart is the joy of a mother who has accepted the new life. Mary is the new Eve, the mother of life. God, the creator of life, through His Holy Spirit, created Jesus in her womb, and she conceived Him through the strength of the Holy Spirit, and she bore him. She carried Him for nine months in her womb with joy. She is joyful. She is the mother who fights for life. She is the woman from the Apocalypse who saves her child from the dragon because he wanted to destroy the child. And Mary is joyful and she knows that there is joy in our hearts for Christmas too. Joy is a fruit of love for life. There where life is accepted, there where life is protected, only there joy is possible. I hope that all of us also felt the joy that Mary is carrying in her heart, and that through this joy our love for life may be healed. Out of this joy Mary says...

I CALL YOU TO THE GOOD

The deepest thing for which our heart yearns is this good. The good here signifies a new and deep relationship toward God as the creator of life, toward ourselves, toward the others who all, just like us, were also created by God. The good becomes possible ONLY when we love, and the good is the opposite here of all that is evil. The good here is something that protects, something that loves, and something that is joyful and that fights against all that insults, that is sad, and that is destroys.

I DESIRE THAT EACH OF YOU REJOICE AND CARRY PEACE IN YOUR HEART

The Latin word 'meditare' means to seek the center, and this means to go into the depths. When we meditate and go into our depths, then we will discover the good in us and then, out of this good, we will then build new relationships with God and with the others. The opposite of this meditation and going into the depths to discover the real meaning of life is superficiality. We all know in what danger we are today to become superficial, and to only live life on the surface. We, again here, find excuses and say, "I have no time, I must run." All of us have allowed that stress presses and oppresses us, and we no longer make room to go into any depths. When man does not meditate and goes into his depth, then he will dry up. The person's heart and soul will remain without any roots or any connection with the reason for life. This is how we understand why many people today are living without peace, that many loose the purpose of life, that many are no longer capable of being joyful, that so few can remain loyal to their word, and in this superficiality, in this being without any roots and without reason, many evil things then occur. This happens through alcohol and drugs, through the destruction of the family, through lack of loyalty in marriages, and through this they again loose the purpose of life, they are threatened by suicide. This way many have become aggressive because their souls have become dry. It is very important for us in this new time that God wishes to give us that we connect in meditation with our purpose. God is the only reason on which we can build our lives. Only in this way can peace come into our lives, and only this way will we become capable of carrying peace in our hearts. Peace is really another word for the good that is in us. The typical idea of peace is the fulfillment of the spiritual, the mental and the physical goods in us. But these will again only become possible when we stand very firmly in God. This standing firmly in God is really faith, and faith means to be in God, to trust in God, and this experience St. Paul described when he said, "Everything that we do, whether eating or drinking, whether working or praying, sleeping or resting, we are in God, we move within Him, we are in Him." This, or a similar security, is what the human heart yearns for and this is peace. Peace is possible because Jesus came to us, because He became man, because He became our bread, because He is Emmanuel -- God with us. But He only offers Himself, He does not force Himself upon us. Again Mary calls us to...

SAY: I WANT TO PUT GOD IN THE FIRST PLACE IN MY LIFE

This is the most normal thing that Mary wishes for and repeatedly requests of us here in her school. The first place belongs to God for He is our creator. He is the sole reason for our life, and primarily He wishes to serve us. We must simply get accustomed to this word. Before God wishes us to serve Him, He offers Himself to us and wishes to serve us. For instance when Jesus says that He is the way, joy, light, truth, life, bread, peace and living water -- all these are the truths that we really need. We need the way, joy, light, truth, life, bread, peace and living water. God offers Himself to us, and when we place something or someone else in that first place, then we are pulling ourselves away from our purpose and give our life the wrong direction. God offers Himself but He does not push Himself upon us, so we must be very careful not to place ourselves, others or the material things in that first place. If we give this first place to something else, we have often signed our own spiritual, mental or even physical death sentence. God's deepest wish is that we live, that we do well, and that we move around in and stay in what is good. Therefore it is also normal that Mary says...

IN THIS WAY ... EACH OF YOU WILL BECOME HOLY

Holiness is first of all a healing -- a healing of the relationship toward ourselves, toward God and toward the others, and a growth in love, trust, faith, and joy. When we think of our Saints, then we know that they were the people who loved, those who had joy, those who were ready to invest their own lives for the others with love. THAT is holiness! Along with this holiness comes what Mary places onto our lips...

TELL EVERYONE I WANT THE GOOD FOR YOU

When a person carries the good inside him, then the first result is that he will also wish it for the others and help the others to find the good and to open themselves to the good. We must become capable at all times to express this and so that it is also correct and does not turn into a lie or act of a Pharisee, we must first of all wish the good for ourselves, and to accept ourselves. This, not because we are perhaps good, successful or that something turned out well for us, but because we are, because we exist. God wanted us. Just as we are created, we are, at our very core, good. Therefore we have every reason to accept ourselves with love. We are often under the temptation to consider ourselves or others as being bad. That which can become bad in us is our wound, our sin, but it is not a wound or a sin that can destroy the good in the deepest of his soul. So, it is NEVER to late for someone to decide to live what is good in him. But the others need this word, 'I wish you the good'. That is the beginning for many people, and for that matter, for all people of the new life. Because when we accuse ourselves or the others, then we set the borders for the good and do not allow that the good may grow. The worst thing that can happen to us is that we hinder the growth of the good in us. But when we do not, then Mary says...

HE WILL RESPOND WITH THE GOOD

We can be fearful because we have often had bad experiences with others. We are fearful or our pride hinders us from telling the others that we wish the good for the others. But this is the condition that something new can be born in us and around us, and this which is new is the good. We certainly have all experienced that we wished for or did something good for someone, but that he responded with something bad, yet when he did so, still, in the deepest part of his soul, he did not want this. But at that moment, pride or anger, sorrow or depression, the lost purpose of life or work, caused this. But when we stand firm in the good then we will survive this attack that comes from the other so that the other will then also decide for the good. If we do not hit back to the attack then the other will more easily find his way to the good, and to his own decision for the good. This way then, Mary says...

GOOD WILL COME TO DWELL IN THE HEART OF EACH MAN

In this year of the Holy Spirit it should remain our primary assignment that we pray that we stay in the good, so that we may then be able to help the others to find the good so that the good may grow within them, and that then will become the new time. There where someone or a family opens itself for the good, there it will already be living in the new time of peace and of love. Yet, so that we do not forget, Mary says...

TONIGHT I BRING TO YOU THE GOOD OF MY SON

So, the only good God is sending us His Son, and that is the good in Itself, the presence, the word, the act, the life, the death, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. And this good which is also within us and around us is Emmanuel -- God with us. And Jesus, the Son of the good God...

WHO GAVE HIS LIFE TO SAVE YOU

...as the final sign as proof that He loves us. That then is sufficient for us to decide for the good and to wish the good for the others. Then at the end Mary says...

THAT IS WHY ... REJOICE AND EXTEND YOUR HANDS TO JESUS WHO IS ONLY GOOD

Purely good! This is sufficient reason to be joyful, and when we rejoice then our prayer will come from the deepest part of our life and our soul. Being in prayer means being joyful because Jesus -- Jesus who was sent to us by the good Father -- is with us. Then our prayer will not only be better, but rather something that belongs to the content of our soul and that is to extend our hands toward Him who is good and to do so in every situation -- when things are going well to be thankful, and when they are going less well then to request help, but still, at all times, our hands will be extended toward Jesus. Hands which extend themselves toward Jesus will also become hands which extend themselves toward others with joy. This is what Mary wants. So, in this message we again discover what it is that Mary wishes of us in this New Year. She wants us to decide for the good by placing God in the first place in our lives, that we from this good wish and become good for others and thereby help that the good can have room and grow in every heart. And for this we want to pray...

God, our Father, we thank You today that You have sent us Your Son who is only good. We thank You for Mary, Your humble servant, who gave You, our Father, the first place in her heart. We thank You for every joy and also for the joy that You have given us in these times by sending us Your Son. Give us, O Father, the grace of meditation and reflection. Free us of everything that hinders us from going into the depths, there where we can meet with You. Free us of every possible superficiality so that we can remain in peace and carry peace to others. Father, free us of anything that has taken the first place in our lives, and that hinders You from occupying the first place. Father, heal our relationships so that we can be healed and then become holy. Give us love for one another, we beseech You, and heal the damaged relationships within families, so that every husband may say to his wife, "I wish you the good", that every wife may say to her husband, "I too wish you the good", that the parents together may say to their children that to which the children will then be able to respond, and that the good is given the room in families so that all our families, through Jesus Christ, Your Son, may live in peace and in the good. Give joy to all hearts, and especially those who at this moment are sad because they are loved by no-one, because they think that no-one wishes them the good, and please free all hearts from hate and from all negative feelings, so that joy may enlighten all people. And give us the spirit of prayer so that our hearts are constantly extended to Your Son, Jesus, and we beseech You send us Your Holy Spirit so that He may transform us into new people who live within You and act out of You, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Fra Slavko , Medjugorje

December 27, 1997

 
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