Today Mary, Mother of Jesus and Mother of the Church, wishes to prepare us for Lent with her message. Lent is the season of the church year that we call the strong time. At the beginning of the Gospel, as well as at the beginning of Lent we hear Jesus' call: „Convert and believe in the Gospel“. At the beginning of Lent, particularly on the first day, we hear the following words: "Remember, man, you are dust, and unto dust you shall return." As Holy Scripture depicts in great detail, God created us from the dust of the ground, breathed His breath, His spirit and His life into us. God has placed Himself in the heart of everyone of us. If we break the bond, break our relationship with Him, which we can as we have a free will, then we have no life in us. It means that without God we are dead, we do not exist. In the best case scenario we can merely vegetate. If there is no bond between God and us, if we do not reach out for Him every single day, we are left without His Spirit inside us.
Our Lady is a mother, and a mother cannot remain calm watching her children walk through this world without God. Her words are simple and easily comprehensible, but hard when we have to materialize them in our life. She still speaks today: " Open your hearts". God dwells in the heart of everyone of us. And we may be out of ourselves, as St Augustine puts it nicely: "Too late have I love Thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new, too late have I loved Thee!.“ St Paul says: „He is not far from any of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being“. If we run away from God or if we deny Him faith, then it is not us any more, as the Psalm goes: "Far from Thee, life is life no longer. Not believing in Thee means being nobody."
Because she is the Mother, Our Lady wants us to live and to have God's life in us. The path to reach this is an open heart, prayer and renunciation. Only then can we receive what God desires to give us. And when it is God who gives, He gives in abundance. Renunciation is not intended to lose something, but to gain even more. It does not mean holding our hands tight, but to open them so that God may place in them the gifts of peace, love, trust, light and hope.
Our Lady makes us see the image of nature: spring, the earth, the seed. God has placed His own laws in nature and these laws abide by the will of God. We all know how devastating consequences may be when man tries to change the laws of nature. Even more devastating are the consequences when man tries to change the divine laws that God has imprinted in our consciousness and in our spirit.
Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church and Our Mother, pray for us in this merciful time of Lent and lead us to the path of prayer and renunciation so that we can receive gifts from God which He desires to give us with His infinite love.
Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic
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