BY JESUS’ PASSION AND DEATH ON THE CROSS, YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THAT ONLY THROUGH PRAYER YOU TOO CAN BECOME TRUE APOSTLES OF FAITH, Fr Slavko Reflection

Message of Our Lady of Medjugorje, March 25, 1997 “Dear children! Today, in a special way, I invite you to take the cross in the hands and to meditate on the wounds of Jesus. Ask of Jesus to heal your wounds, which you, dear children, during your life sustained because of your sins or the sins of your parents. Only in this way, dear children, you will understand that the world is in need of healing of faith in God the Creator. By Jesus’ passion and death on the cross, you will understand that only through prayer you, too, can become true apostles of faith; when, in simplicity and prayer, you live faith which is a gift. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

This month’s message addresses the time in which we live, in that it is both a Lental as well as of Easterly message.

TODAY I INVITE YOU IN A SPECIAL WAY TO TAKE THE CROSS IN THE HANDS AND MEDITATE ON THE WOUNDS OF JESUS

We all know that Mary had the courage to stand near the Cross of her Son. She carried the cross and the suffering of Jesus with love and with faith, and in so doing she experienced her own death. Certainly at the moment that Jesus prayed for His enemies, her heart was also praying along with Him. As He forgave, so did her heart forgive. She knows how important the cross is for us, and therefore she called us in several messages to pray before the cross. She told us that many graces come from the cross, that we should mediate upon Jesus’ suffering and to pray that we can carry our crosses as He carried his with love and patience. Jesus’ suffering and His death on the cross are the best proof for how much He loves us. He was in love with us and therefore He was ready to die on the cross for us. Someone once said that only in crucified love can one trust and believe. Out of the wounds of Jesus one can come to understand how much He loved us and loves us. We also know that Jesus, in showing His wounds to Thomas, removed his doubts and when that happened Thomas threw himself onto his knees and said: “My Lord, my God.” So I hope that we too will do the same, and take the cross in our hands to discover His love for us. Here I would like to point out something. Sometimes when we hear something, no matter whether it is wonderful or devastating, we can become mute and not know how to react. We are in danger when the good no longer affects us and the evil no longer shocks us. We should especially in this time rediscover Jesus’ love in His wounds which then again should touch us and call us to again love more than before. When we have discovered Jesus’ love then we will be able to make the next step.

ASK OF JESUS TO HEAL YOUR WOUNDS WHICH YOU … HAVE SUSTAINED DURING YOUR LIFE BECAUSE OF YOUR SINS OR THE SINS OF YOUR PARENTS

This is the first time that Mary calls to ask Jesus directly for healing. The wounds in us are caused by sins, but not only ours but also those of our parents. This sentence could easily lead us into a psycho-analysis, but that alone would not help us. Even if we know what our sins are, what the sins of our parents are, and even when we recognize our wounds, this does not yet mean the healing of those wounds. For instance, someone who has broken his leg and knows where the break is still needs to go see the doctor. It is not imperative that we enter into analysis, but rather that we really pray for the healing of those wounds. It is clear to us all that we were not loved as much as we wished for, and the lack of our parents’ love certainly left wounds in our hearts. These wounds then also caused our sins. These words of Mary’s do not wish to announce us as sinners, but rather call upon us sinners to pray for healing and this is critical for us. How often do we hear from people who were not loved by either their mother or father? Or whose parents were divorced or whose father was an alcoholic, or who had no time for the children because he worked all the time? Or who was too strict, and so forth. Any of these created deep wounds in our hearts, and it is here that we all must be very careful not to create a similar image of God. Many people have become atheists or have stopped praying because they created a picture of God according to their parents and their behavior. The healing of these wounds will make us capable of building the image of our parents according the image of God. Therefore it is an important assignment for us to pray for the healing of relationships in our families. It is certain that we often sin against one another out of weakness, but also out of malice. We do not need to judge one another, but to pray for one another.

ONLY IN THIS WAY … WILL YOU UNDERSTAND THAT THE WORLD IS IN NEED OF HEALING OF FAITH IN GOD THE CREATOR

The world desperately needs a healing of faith. One of the first messages that Mary gave the visionaries was that she had come to tell us that God exists, and that she had come to help us. Everything can be traced back to faith or the lack of faith. The one who believes will also be able to love, and the one who can love can also pray, forgive, and have peace. The one who does not believe or whose faith is wounded will not be able to do so. As we all know, pride reigns in the world today. Many people behave as though they had created themselves, the others and the entire world. Especially the advances of technology can mislead people that they then begin to think that he has created all this. But the truth is something completely different. God created everything and gave man the understanding to discover this. All the discoveries in technology are merely discoveries for what God has already placed in nature and the material. Therefore humanity really has no reason for pride or to make himself big, but rather humanity has a reason only to be thankful for all that God the Creator has given to it. And when God the Creator has taken the first place in our lives we may say that our faith was healed. Then too the world will be healed.

BY JESUS’ PASSION AND DEATH ON THE CROSS, YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THAT ONLY THROUGH PRAYER YOU TOO CAN BECOME TRUE APOSTLES OF FAITH

These next words are then exactly the words for Easter. By taking the Apostles as an example we will come to understand it better. On Good Friday all of them except John – John whom Jesus loved especially – went away and hid themselves, thereby abandoning Jesus out of fear. After they had withstood the tragedy of Good Friday in fear Easter morning arrives. Jesus comes to them and His first words are: “Have no fear. Peace be with you. It is I.” This was the beginning of healing of the Apostles’ faith. Then after they had prayed with Mary for nine days and the Holy Spirit had come upon them, they experienced the fullness of the gifts and thereby became real Apostles who gave all their lives for Jesus, and who were ready to do everything for the Good News. This is what Mary wishes for every one of us and we will be able to do so when we meditate on the Passion and Death of Jesus, when we respond to Jesus’ love with our love, and when we really begin to pray. Through prayer our faith is healed and we will then become real Apostles of our faith. Only in this way will the faith in the world be healed. When we, then our families, our communities, our parishes and the whole Church have our faith healed, then the others whose faith is wounded will also be able to be healed. Mary then says…

WHEN, IN SIMPLICITY AND PRAYER, YOU LIVE FAITH WHICH IS A GIFT

Simplicity is certainly a virtue, and the one who loves will simply be able to live his faith. Love is simple, and simplicity comes from love. The one who can love does not complicate the relationships among people. We all know so well that when someone loves he understands immediately. He does not need to use many words. The one who loves, sees and does not need to be called often and with many words so that he comes to help. The one who loves immediately sees where he can become involved and begin to help and then do so. It is not difficult to experience that when we do not love someone then everything becomes complicated, including our conversation with him, our feelings concerning him. Also the way in which we wish to help this person becomes very complicated. Prayer is certainly also a key word, for the one who prays encounters God, and the one who encounters Him will believe in Him and love Him, and also understand that this faith is a gift. The one who arrives at love through a healed faith will also become an Apostle, and true Apostles are badly needed today by our families, communities and parishes. The programs that the Holy Father has suggested to us over these next three years seek true Apostles. This year which has been consecrated to the Son needs those who believe in Jesus as the Resurrected Lord, and those who are in love with Jesus and who do everything so that the others can also get to know Him. Then with a love for Jesus we will also be able to celebrate the years of the Holy Spirit and the Father well. So now we are left with going further on the path with Mary, and she wishes for us to do everything for Jesus. This is not something theoretical, for the one who loves and does everything for Jesus is the one who loves and forgives the others, and is ready to offer himself for the others. As Mary tells us in Mirjana’s message, only the one who sees Jesus in the others will have peace. That is the path of peace, and that is Jesus’ path. Mary wishes to show us and then lead us on this path, and I wish for us all that we, during this Easter, receive new courage to go on the path with Jesus. Now let us pray…


God, our Father, we thank You that You sent us Your only Son, that He out of love took the cross upon Himself and suffered death on the cross. We thank You that He prayed for His enemies on the cross and that He forgave them. We take the cross of Your Son in our hands and we ask You that in His wounds we may discover your wonderful love. We now bring our wounds to You through which our fears, bad feelings and habits, our sins, our pride and our jealousy come about. We also bring to You all the wounded relationships among our parents and siblings, the wounded relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, and also all those in our communities, in the church and in the whole world. Father, you also see our wounds and we ask You, through the wounds of Your Son, Jesus, to heal us, that You heal our faith, love and hope and that You give us Your peace. With Mary, the Immaculate Mother who had no wounds in her heart because, due to being excluded of any original sin by You, she had no personal sin, we ask You heal all wounds that have stayed in us due to our sins and those of our parents. We ask You to heal the world of all effects of original sin, and that we all can come onto the path to You. Father, heal the world and heal the wounds in all those baptized, in all those who call themselves Christians, and in all those who, due to wounds, have lost their faith in You. Heal the faith in the world so that all Christian Churches may come to unity among them. Heal the world’s faith in Your Son, Jesus Christ, the Resurrected Lord, so that we all, through His Passion and Resurrection, may also be resurrected. Father, give us true prayer so that through prayer we may encounter You and that all may then through prayer become true Apostles for the faith. Give us simplicity that comes from love, love that gets strengthened through prayer, love and hope. Father, open our hearts so that we may hear Your Easterly greeting, “Peace be with you. Have no fear. It is I.” Make the faith of the young who have lost the purpose of life come alive. Heal the faith of those who have fallen into drugs, alcohol and other dependencies. Heal the faith of all those who at this moment are being tempted by hate, by self-destruction or by other violent acts. Father, heal the faith in all those who are either physically or mentally ill, so that they may be healed through their faith. Father, we ask You through Jesus Christ, your Son who was resurrected from the dead, heal this world which You love and which You created. We ask You, in the name of Your resurrected Son, with Mary whose love, faith and love were not broken through the suffering and death of her Son, but rather in temptation showed her strength. We thank You, and we come to You through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Fra Slavko
Medjugorje; March 28, 1997 

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