The Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of each man, addresses today also her maternal word to all those who want to listen and hear. She tells us: “I call you also today to conversion” as she has called us all the days for more than 21 years now. In Gospa’s words resound the words of John the Baptist: “Repent, because the Kingdom of heaven is near”. (Mt 3:2) Through Mary, a time of grace comes to us, a time when the Kingdom of Heaven wants to dwell in the heart of men. Through Mary, the Saviour of the world came to us, the Saviour of the world who wants also this year to be born in our heart. Conversion means change of path, of direction, of mentality, of sinful practices and habits. It is difficult, very difficult to change, but it is possible. It requires a permanent vigilance and perseverance, a permanent combat, it implies falls and raisings. Jesus speaks to us about the narrow and steep path, which leads to life. He wants to tell us that, on this path, we will be tired, that we will sweat, fall and bleed, but happy are those who persevere until the end. Life is a combat, and a proverb says: “Who does not want to fight, it is better for him not to live”. The Old Testament suffering Job tells us: “Isn't the life of men on earth a combat?” (Cf: Job 7:1)
Mary, our mother, lived this same path of combat, renunciation and death to herself, so that God may live in her. Her glorification in Heaven shows that she was on the good path. At the moment of meeting God through the angel Gabriel, she did not say: “I understood what you say to me”, but “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to your word”. (Lk 1:38) We cannot nor should not understand everything, but it is important that we trust the word of God, that we trust the maternal words that are addressed to us in this simple message, in which we touch with the heart the maternal heart that beats for each one of us.
Conversion is the work of God, the work that He does in us if we allow Him. I cannot convert myself and even less can I convert others. What I can, it is to desire ardently, to seek, to yearn with all my faculties, all my forces and all the powers that God has given me and has put at my disposal. The problem is not in our distance from God, but in our negligence and our lack of desire to approach Him, to love him and thus to know him. God gives himself to those who seek him with their whole heart.
In this message, Gospa reminds us of the sacrament of Holy Confession, through which we should open our hearts and prepare our souls, so that Jesus can be born. Today still, Jesus wants and wishes to be born. Today still, he is thirsting for us and for our time, our prayer, and above all our heart to receive him. When Jesus enters into the life of a person, this life is not the same any more, but is transfigured and renewed. It is a life filled with peace and joy that this world cannot give.
The time of the Advent is in front of us, the expectation of the arrival and the birth of the Saviour of the world and of men. Let us allow Jesus to enter into our houses and our families. May the door of our families and of our lives be open for Christmas and during Christmas days. Let us be at home, at home in our inner self, to meet him and carry him to others, like Mary.
Thank you, Mary, for being close to us. Thank you for not ceasing to intercede and to pray with us and for us.
Medjugorje, November 26, 2002
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