Reflection on the Message of August 25, 2000
Dear children! I desire to share my joy with you. In my Immaculate Heart I feel that there are many of those who have drawn closer to me and are, in a special way, carrying the victory of my Immaculate Heart in their hearts by praying and converting. I desire to thank you and to inspire you to work even more for God and His kingdom with love and the power of the Holy Spirit. I am with you and I bless you with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call.
I greet all of you who are trying to follow Mary's messages and invite us to reflect quickly on what Mary told us in the message of July 25. She invited us not to forget that our path here on earth is really the path to eternity. In other words, she does not want us to forget that we are all pilgrims here on earth. So people know from where they come, this meaning out of the love of God and they know where they are going, into eternal Glory. God gave the yearning for eternal life to our hearts and He wants us to follow this yearning so that some day we may be with Him in that eternal life. Mary is teaching us how we are supposed to behave on this path. We should allow ourselves to be led by God's love and that is why she says that we should be open to that love, but the second condition is that we must leave behind all egoism and sin. People who are egotists and who live in sin are those who have placed themselves, other people, the material world or another god in the first place in their lives and are following him. An egotist is the one who has placed himself in the first place in his life and who prays to and adores himself. Out of his egotism the person wishes to be the measuring-stick for everything. He wishes to decide what is good and what is bad and he expects God and the other people to serve him. When someone does not wish to serve him the way that he wants, he becomes angry, nervous, unhappy and sad. Such a person is not taking the path of a pilgrim but rather stays on the path of this world and stays stuck in his evil ways. Only the love of God, when we become touched by it, can give us the strength to overcome all temptations, egotism and sin, and then for us to stay on the right path. That is why Mary also tells us that we should discover God with joy in our daily prayer, so that that becomes are only true joy. This is the dynamic of love. The one who loves is always near to the loved person but he is also with himself always distant from them. That is why he always tries to come closer but always feels himself distant and again tries to come closer. We must really pray to God for the dynamic of such a love. Then came the three-fold call to prayer because God is so close to us in and through prayer. I hope that that message helped us and will continue to help us to see whether we really are on the path of pilgrims or whether we are getting stuck on something. The only real and good path for man is for him to behave like a pilgrim and this means that he in his inner freedom can form his life with God and with the others and thereby to keep himself balanced on this path. For this balance we must also pray.
At this moment Ivan, Vicka, Mirjana, Jacov and Ivanka are all here at home. Marija along with her family are in the US at a Marian Conference. We may believe that the daily apparitions are continuing and we do not know for how much longer, but we remain open for Mary's presence here every day.
We enjoyed a very successful Youth Festival. It was very dynamic, all speakers were extremely good, and most especially Mons. Roberto Rivas who then also wrote a letter to the youth. On August 3 we had a wonderful and extremely long Eucharistic Procession which stretched from the church toward Apparition Hill, then toward Cross Mountain and back again toward the church. Sr. Elvira and several members of her Community gave their testimonies on August 4, and after the evening Mass then put on a terrific musical for which we had up to 20,000 people present. At 6:00 a.m. on August 6 we celebrated Holy Mass up on Cross Mountain -- this being on the Feast of the Transfiguration - and about 70 Priests concelebrated, with the Pastor, Fr. Ivan Landeka, being the main celebrant. We estimate that there were about 6,000 up there that morning. And since this Festival, Medjugorje has been more or less full of pilgrims from all over the world. We are very grateful toward all who are coming here and who wish to follow Mary's messages. We especially wish to pray for all those who have received graces here in Medjugorje so that they may all remain loyal to the decisions that they made while they were here.
This month some transfers occurred among the Franciscans here. Our Pastor for the last nine years, Fr. Ivan Landeka, has been moved to Humac and is now Pastor there, while Fr. Branimir Musa has also been moved there and is now their Superior and Guardian. Our new Pastor is Dr. Fr. Ivan Sesar who in June received his Doctorate in Church Law in Rome, and we also have another new Priest, Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic. They are most certainly very welcome here and will both serve the pilgrims in any manner that they can.
Through Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti, Mary again gave us a message on August 25. This message is really a bit different than most in that, as we will see, she speaks of her joy and then also tells us the reason for this joy.
I DESIRE TO SHARE MY JOY WITH YOU
Of course we know that there is no sorrow in Heaven, nor any suffering and not even a shadow of any suffering. There only eternal peace, eternal love and certainly also eternal joy exist. Mary has this joy in her heart and she tells us that she wishes to share it with us. Joy is also a very common subject in the Bible, in the Old as well as in the New Testament, and how often do we read in the Psalmists and in other Prophets "I rejoice in the Lord", "my heart rejoices" and similar expressions? Jesus rejoices and speaks about a joy which of course has qualities other than only those of earthly joy. Jesus speaks of a joy that is also possible during suffering and persecution because our names have already been written in Heaven, and it is this that will give us a true joy. And joy in itself is something that one must always wish to share with others and which also ought to be shared. If someone hides their joy in their hearts, then he has already lost it. If someone behaves egotistically with his joy, then that is certainly not a true joy at all. So Mary wishes to share her joy with us and that is why we must be open toward this joy and also ask God that the type of joy that Mary has in her heart may also enter ours.
IN MY IMMACULATE HEART I FEEL THAT THERE ARE MANY WHO HAVE DRAWN CLOSER TO ME AND ARE IN A SPECIAL WAY CARRYING THE VICTORY OF MY IMMACULATE HEART IN THEIR HEARTS BY PRAYING AND CONVERTING
This is the reason for Mary's joy. When Mary mentions her Immaculate Heart, then we should also remember that she was never touched by Original Sin, and that she had therein gotten an immeasurably great grace from God in that she was not wounded by any sin. That is why the angel at the Annunciation was able to greet her with "Hail Mary, full of grace" and then she also went through life without any personal sin. Because of this she is pure grace. We are unable to follow Mary in this regard because all of us have been born in sin and are therefore wounded by sin. Through Baptism we are freed of this sin, but the fruits of sin have always remained in us. So here we are unable to be similar to her, but then there are many other qualities of hers which we are able to enact and thus behave as she would. When she says, "Father, Thy will be done. I am Your servant", then we too can be this way and it is this behavior that she wishes of us. She wants us to decide for God's will and to also do it, and when that is the case it is really the beginning of the victory of her Immaculate Heart. Everyone, who like Mary, decides for God and also stays loyal to Him, in placing Jesus in the first place in their lives, has already created the correct conditions for the victory that she always did and still does carry in her Immaculate Heart. If we ask ourselves how this victory of the Immaculate Heart comes about, then the answer is very simple and clear. The one who decides for God and who in so doing accepts Jesus as the Way, the Truth, the Light and Life and then acts out of love, does his work out of love, prays out of love and also constantly is fighting against all sin and against Satan, already has this victory. And also all those who untiringly fight against all negativity and who decide for all that is good will also carry this victory further. The triumph of the Immaculate Heart starts in our hearts and is therefore at first invisible, but all those who carry this victory in their hearts will also be able to help those in their families, in their communities and parishes and all others whom they encounter in their lives, to experience and to live this victory. In this Jubilee Year we should really believe, hope and pray that this victory, about which Mary speaks, may become visible so that all evil and Satan may really be conquered so that God's Kingdom may come into the world through us.
I DESIRE TO THANK YOU AND TO INSPIRE YOU TO WORK EVEN MORE FOR GOD AND HIS KINGDOM WITH LOVE AND THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We are already accustomed to Mary thanking us, because nearly every message ends with the expression, "Thank you for having responded to my call". When we ask ourselves who and what she is thanking for, then we must realize that she does not wait until we have done everything in order to thank us, but rather once she sees the decision in our hearts to live for what is good and to fight against what is not, that she will already then say "thank you". This, when seen as a pedagogic method, is also the best rule for all teaching, because those who thank us are also those who see the good in us and also the good that we have done even when it is still very small. Moreover, we will also open our hearts toward those who see what is good in us and then remain open to accept new impulses and, if need be, new requests. All of us, and especially parents and teachers, should learn to see all that is good in those for whom we are responsible and to thank them for it, because only then will our attempts to teach succeed because those in whom we recognize what is good will also be ready to continue to work upon what is good. Being blind or deaf toward what is good in the others really means that we have built walls between each other and are therefore no longer able to see and hear one another, and this then is a peaceless and dissatisfying situation. So we should really like to accept Mary's words "I thank you" for at least that for which we have decided to do and let ourselves be inspired to do even more with love and the power of the Holy Spirit for God and His Kingdom. Here we of course also think of Jesus' words when He says, "seek and wish the Kingdom of Heaven and all else will be given to you". The love and the strength of the Holy Spirit will be given to us when we really pray every day and then also remain loyal to doing so. So as soon as we decide for what is good, meaning that we begin to work for God and for his Kingdom, and as soon as this work has begun in our hearts and in our lives, we will also be able to help the others, in our families as well as everywhere else. This is also our assignment. Doing so, in other words, is our testimony. These days testimonies of being Christian are often missing because we have so often started measuring ourselves according to the world and then think and act as though we never knew Jesus. The Kingdom of Heaven is the Kingdom of Peace, Love, Justice, Mercy, Goodness, Respect and Activity for Life. During this Jubilee Year we should really come to decide for God and His Kingdom so that we may begin this new millennium as people who are full of God and who have decided to dedicate themselves entirely to His Kingdom. This after all is the only reason for Mary's presence, apparitions and messages here.
I AM WITH YOU AND I BLESS YOU WITH MY MATERNAL BLESSING
The only new message in Medjugorje is Our Lady's daily presence here without which no-one is able to understand, much less explain, Medjugorje. This is why we should thank Mary for each day and for each apparition with which she is showing us her presence, and should be happy to open ourselves for her motherly blessing. It is really wonderful to know that Mary is blessing us with her motherly blessing because here it does not only concern a formula or a word but rather her being here for us with all of her being. When she blesses us then it means that she is praying for us, protecting us, leading us, teaching us, interceding for us, and that she is with us, because all this is always contained in any motherly blessing. A mother does so much more than merely speak, because her entire being and all her activities happen only for her child's well-being. And when we know that we are blessed by Mary in such a way, then we certainly are strengthened with renewed security and renewed courage on our path with her to Jesus and then also into the Eternal Glory. And now that we have quickly reflected on this month's message, I again invite us all to now pray together...
God, our Father, God of Life, God of Peace, God of Love and God of Joy, in the name of Your Son, Jesus, along with Mary, we ask You, free us of all sorrow that has come by way of sin and the wounds of sin, and fill our hearts with Your joy. Give us deep humility and the readiness to accept and to live Your will so that the Victory that Mary experienced in her Immaculate Heart may also be realized in our hearts. Give us all, O Father, the strength to become people of peace, of love, of justice, of mercy and thereby witnesses to Your Victory in this world. In the name of Your Son, Jesus, we denounce all sin, Satan and all his works, and wish to form our lives here on earth with Mary, Your Most Humble Servant. We ask You, O Father, for all those who still have their hearts closed to You due to sorrow, fear, negative feelings, hate, jealousy, envy, dependencies, or are wounded and are thus hindered from Mary's path to You. We ask You, bless all people whom we meet so that we may help them on the path to the victory about which Mary has spoken to us in this message. Give us the love and the strength to be able to do everything out of love for You and for Your Kingdom.
Make us capable of becoming Your witnesses in our families, our parishes, the Church and the world so that we are ready to witness Your love as Your own children. Mary, we thank you for the joy that you share with us. We thank you for the victory that your Immaculate Heart gained for us and help us, through your intercession and your motherly blessing, to really become your children and thereby also good students in this school of love, so that we may all become a blessing for all the world. With You, Mary, we ask Jesus to help us and all the world. Help us become free of all sin and of all evil, so that we, like You, Mary, may all decide entirely for God. May it be this way. Amen.
Fr. Slavko, Medjugorje
26. August 2000