Mary, Mother of God and our mother, begins her every message with these words: "Dear children!" She knows to whom she is coming and speaking. She is coming to us who are her beloved children. Many a time she said: "Dear children, I am telling you this with love; I am calling you with my maternal love; I am close to you in my love.“ She speaks to us with love, as Jesus spoke to that rich youth in the Gospel: Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said, "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Mark 10:21). Jesus did not have success with the rich youth despite the love with which he spoke to him. Jesus' call did not reach the youth's heart.
The Blessed Virgin Mary knows that not everybody will embrace her motherly word. Despite that, she has faith, she hopes and loves her children. She loves us even when we, as children, are indifferent, weak and sinful. She remains perseverant and patient even when we do not have faith in her and accept her superficially. Her love does not change because it comes from God's heart, since she herself is all in God's heart.
She calls upon us with this message to be carriers of the Gospel in our families. Being a carrier of the Gospel means to be a carrier of joy since the Gospel is a good, joyful news. The Gospel is Jesus Christ. As our mother, Our Lady constantly bestows us with this ideal of the Gospel attained by the saints during their life. This is why St. Paul can say: " I no longer live, but Christ lives in me“ (Gal 2:20). We need prayer in order to achieve this ideal and to identify ourselves with Jesus Christ.
In her message of 25 December 1992 Our Lady spoke to us and taught us the following: "Dear children! ... Do not forget that your life does not belong to you, but is a gift with which you must bring joy to others and lead them to eternal life." We all know that we can be a burden and a cross to others, as well as others can be the same to us.
Nobody is heavy or dull to Mother Mary because she loves us. Listen to a story that supports these words. There was once an 8-year-old girl carrying her little 2-year-old brother on her back. While passing by people asked her: "Isn’t it heavy for you to carry such a burden?" She replied: "This is not a burden, this is my little brother. " Only love can make us carry others with joy, and not just tolerate them.
Mother Mary carries everyone of us with her love. She was the first to carry the Gospel, to carry God in her mother's lap and in her heart. God gave her this mission through Angel Gabriel. She was not scared off by this task and by numerous offspring entrusted to her by the Heavenly Father.
In a lot of her previous messages she encouraged us to read the Scriptures, as she still does today. Mary is a woman-gospel. That is why she calls us to read the Scriptures, which are divinely inspired, permeated with God’s character and His spirit. She has been here since her first appearance 25 years ago. However, she has not come to unveil new truths or to add something new to the Gospels. She has been coming as the Mother desiring us to take God's word seriously so that we do not think of the Gospels as something abstract, detached from life. And the gospel is not something that happened in the past and finished. The gospel happens and renews in life of every Christian. St. Jerome said: "Who does not know the Scriptures, does not know Christ" In the Bible we find Jesus Christ himself, his love, his grace and omnipotence. God's word is not man's word. God resides in his words. Just like the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews says: "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account." (Heb 4:12).
Through faith in the Bible I touch God Himself. Reading the Scriptures means listening to the words spoken by God to me, receiving the word of the Bible as a gift. Exactly that is the attitude Mary took after having heard the words conveyed to her by the messenger of God, the words that she kept, cherished and thought upon in her heart. I am talking about hearing, listening attentively to and cherishing the words through worship, obedience and admiration. We are not masters of God's word, we are its slaves. When we are reading the Bible while in prayer and full of faith, we must not search for something that might satisfy our curiosity or a story we could tell to others. We should let God speak to us in peace and silence.
Mary promises us to be close, to provide support and guidance. Let us not be indifferent to her calls.
Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic
Medugorje, 26 January 2006
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