Reflection in April 2003
Reflection on the Message of April 25, 2003
DECIDE ALSO TODAY FOR GOD
“Dear children! I call you also today to open yourselves to prayer. In the foregone time of Lent you have realized how small you are and how small your faith is. Little children, decide also today for God, that in you and through you He may change the hearts of people, and also your hearts. Be joyful carriers of the risen Jesus in this peaceless world, which yearns for God and for everything that is from God. I am with you, little children, and I love you with a special love. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of April 25, 2003
In her messages, the Blessed Virgin Mary often mentions the word “today”, now, the present moment. She wants to say to us that yesterday is gone, that tomorrow has not arrived yet, that there is only today, now. Now I can decide for God and for prayer, now I can become believer or unbeliever. How many people live split up between yesterday and tomorrow, without living today, never being present to themselves in this time that God gives us. The majority of the messages of Our Lady start with: ” I call you also today”. Nothing has changed in the force, the love, the challenge of her calls and her messages. She remains the same, because she does not need any change. Let us ask ourselves how much we have changed or how much we remained unchanged. Because, the one does not advance on the way of faith moves back undoubtedly. The spiritual life is neither ease, nor comfort, but a permanent combat on the paths of faith, according to the words of Job: “Isn’t human life on earth a combat?” (Cf. Jb 7,1a) How much combat to ensure the material existence, how much more of it than on the spiritual way of faith in God! Jesus himself invites us and says: ” Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation” (Mt 26,41)
The time of Lent was a gift and an occasion to see ourselves in truth in front of God. In this message, Our Lady calls us to this same truth. In front of God, we are always small and only creatures, dependent in everything on our Creator. It is a grace to recognize and realise how much we are small and how much our faith is small. Nobody can say: “I believe in God hundred percent, I cannot believe more”, “I love God so much that I cannot love him more”. We always discover spaces within us where we did not allow yet God to enter.
Our Lady invites us to make a decision: “Decide Also Today for God”. Each one of us is responsible for his life and decisions. Mary can call us maternally, but she cannot do it in our place. She did all that she could. She can love us, but cannot live our life in our place, nor die in our place. She does not take away from us the freedom of our decision, just like God the Father did not take away from her the freedom of her decision when he sent the angel Gabriel at the Annunciation. In her freedom, Marie could say: “It is too difficult for me, it is beyond my forces and my capacities” Freely, she pronounced her “yes” to God. Today, she speaks and gives witness that she was not mistaken, and this is why she knows that we will not make a mistake if we decide for God. According to words of Sainte Therese of Avila, “God awaits our decision for to do then everything himself in us”. Without our decision, he cannot, he does not want to act against our free will. If we allow it, God can change our hearts and the hearts of the others in us and through us. We cannot do it. We cannot convert anybody by our efforts to convince, our preaching and our fine words, intelligent and human. It is the work of God. What we can do, it is to prepare the ground in our heart for him, it is to create space for God within us. Then only, the Risen One will have place to enter into this peaceless world, which yearns for God and for everything that is from God. In his Confessions, St. Augustin confirms it: “You encourage it to seek joy by praising you, because you created us for you and our heart is without peace as long as it does not rest in you”. (Confessions I,1)
Mary gives us the promise to be and remain with us. She came to us and she continues to come with a heart full of a motherly love, to give it to all those who wish to open and receive her love. Let us allow her to lead us. Let us not be afraid, like she was not afraid to give her life to God.
Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic
Medjugorje April 26, 2003