The Gospel is the Joyful News. Joy resounds in all its pages, because God has decided to visit and save his people. At the Visitation to Elizabeth, Mary cried out: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour!” (Lk 1,46) At the Annunciation, the angel Gabriel greets Mary with the words: “Hail (rejoice), full of grace… Do not be afraid, Mary: for you have found favour with God.” (Lk 1,28.30)
Today, Mary, Queen of Peace, speaks to us with great joy, and she wants us also to be joyful. To live her messages means to be led to true joy. To follow the voice of the Mother means to find a home and safety. To obey to her voice means to become more joyful, liberated and redeemed; friends of God, to whom Mary guides us. Her messages are like signposts on the road, so that we do not get lost. We need these signals to find an unknown place. However, if we remain still, we will never arrive. We have to start walking and to keep on walking. The way will perhaps not always be paved or straight, but it is important to walk. On the way, we will stumble, fall, bleed... but it is the goal that counts, God, the source of life, for whom our heart languishes.
Mary knows the way better than us; she knows Jesus better than we know him. The purpose of her messages is to make us join with and meet Jesus. Mary wants us to be joyful. Our joy is also her joy, just as our sufferings are also her sufferings.
Mary thanks us, whereas it is us who should thank her for her presence, her proximity, her patience. She loves us with a disinterested love, as if she was asking us: “May I love you? Will you allow me to lead you to life, to joy?”
Mary knows well the human heart. She knows that it glows easily, and that its enthusiasm disappears even more easily. This is why she told us: ‘Renew the enthusiasm of the first days of my coming’, and today, she tells us: “Renew my messages even more, with new enthusiasm and joy”. The first days and the first years of her coming were full of enthusiasm, of joy, of readiness to suffer and to give all for Our Lady and for God. However, narrow and selfish human interests enter easily into this small corner of Heaven that Mary offers to us here; interests that darken the eyes of our hearts, which, then, cannot recognize any more the Heaven that came to us, and that continues to come here, to Medjugorje, through Mary.
What occurs here is a gift from Heaven, a visitation of grace, which can remain fruitless for us if we do not receive it with a humble and open heart. We receive Mary in so far as we love our neighbours, in so far as the strength to support daily crosses grows in us. We receive Mary in so far as we are able to forgive more easily, to raise ourselves above the earthly dirt towards which our weakness attracts us, towards which this world draws us, offering much, but finally taking away everything.
Mary does not threaten us when she says: “A time will come when I will no longer be with you in this way”. The nearness of her heart, and of her soul means time of grace. This is why Mary, Queen of Peace, today, on this 22nd anniversary of her apparitions, attracted so many hearts and such crowds, who are hungry and thirsty for God. Mary knows to whom she is coming, but all the pilgrims, who came today and who came on pilgrimage to Medjugorje during all these years, also know to whom they are coming to. In Mary, they recognized their Mother, the Mother of the Saviour (like Elisabeth did), and they were not mistaken.
Today, Mary wants to awaken all the hearts that are asleep. She can do it and she wants to do it. She is doing it today. Let us help her, so that she can help us. Let us approach her by our daily prayer; because without prayer we cannot be close to her Heart and to the Heart of her Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Let us allow her to lead us to joy and peace - to Jesus. Let us allow her that.
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