Our Lady calls to us as our Mother and invites and encourages us today, on the day of Saint Jacob the apostle, the patron saint of the Parish of Međugorje and pilgrims to inherit the life of the saints, the lives of those who came to heaven into a homeland we shall never leave. In her message on the 25th of July 2002, Our Lady also said: Dear children! Today I rejoice with your patron saint and call you to be open to God's will… Ask your holy protectors to help you grow in love towards God.” The saints are those who intercede for us and stand up for us before the face of God. That is why we turn to them and give up our prayers to them so that they may present them to God. The holy are an example to us that it is worth being faithful to God and that God will never betray us.
“Let prayer be like the air that you breathe” – says Our Mother Mary. Our body needs air. We know how we feel when we don’t have enough air. Without air our body cannot live. So as we have a physical body we also have a spiritual body. We can imagine that we are spiritually dead without prayer. Without prayer man’s life only consists of the body, material things, on dead things which do not have any life. Prayer is not something that is stipulated or ordered by the Church, God or Our Lady. Prayer is not only a devout exercise. Prayer is much more than this. Prayer is life. Without prayer we are dead and there is no life in us. Without prayer God has no room in us in which he can visit and heal us, save us and heal our hearts and souls.
It is only in prayer that God can reveal his love and we can experience the joy of being beloved children of God and Our Lady. From experience we know that it is not enough to only know that food is good, it is necessary to eat it to be able to live. It is not enough to know that God and Our Lady love us, rather it is necessary for us to experience this, experience it in out life as a reality more true than the physical one we see with our eyes.
“You will experience the joy of being my loved ones” – Our Lady says to us. However, it is necessary to fulfil one condition and this is prayer with our heart in which the soul opens and surrenders to God through Our Lady. The Gospel tells us at Jesus’ baptism at the River Jordan from the heavens thundered the voice of our Heavenly Father: “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mark 1, 11). These words apply to Jesus. But through Jesus and in Jesus, also to you and me. Everyone of us are in Jesus and through Jesus the beloved son of the Father, beloved daughter of the Father, the chosen one, favourite of Our Father’s Heart. In Jesus and through Jesus we are also Our Lady’s beloved children.
Throughout our lives we have been told many times that it is important to love God. However it is far more important that God loves us. Our love towards God is of secondary importance. God’s love for us has precedence: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4, 10) – tells us the apostle John in his gospel. And still adds: “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. (1 John 4, 16).
Let the Virgin Mary, full of grace and Immaculate lead us and introduce us to the secrets of Our Father’s heart and love which he has for us.
Fra Ljubo Kurtović
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