Reflection in August 2002
Reflection on the Message of August 25, 2002
SEEK FROM GOD THE GIFT OF FAITH
“Dear children! Also today I am with you in prayer so that God gives you an even stronger faith. Little children, your faith is small and you are not even aware how much, despite this, you are not ready to seek the gift of faith from God. That is why I am with you, little children, to help you comprehend my messages and put them into life. Pray, pray, pray and only in faith and through prayer your soul will find peace and the world will find joy to be with God. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of August 25, 2002
Mary, Our Mother, the Queen of Peace, strengthens us in faith and security while promising us her presence. She, who was present in the most difficult moments of the life of Christ, remains forever with the Church of Christ and with all the generations of men, to this very day. She was present with the apostles in prayer, while waiting the coming of the Promise from on High, the power and the strength of the Holy Spirit. She is a believer and a pilgrim who walks with us, who prays and believes with us. With her, chosen by God, our faith is greater, our love is stronger and our hope is indestructible.
Faith is a grace and a gift. We receive it from God, and God uses men to offer to us His salvation. This is why, on this journey of faith, He has given us the Church, and within the Church, He has given us Mary – our Mother – and Himself. Our life is almost unconceivable without faith. When a child is born, it believes its parents, and that is why it can grow and develop peacefully and safely. It can freely throw itself into the lap of its parents, knowing that they will receive it and protect it.
To believe also means to know. Without faith, we cannot grow in knowledge, we cannot move freely; we have to be afraid of everything. The opposite of faith is fear, mistrust. A person, which does not believe others, has to defend itself, protect itself, has to live in permanent tension and fear to be attacked, robbed, and killed. The foundation of our life is faith and trust, first in God and then in people whom God has placed on our way. Living without faith is like building a house on the sand: that house can collapse at any moment.
Jesus asked faith of his disciples. He used to say: “Your faith has saved you”. Jesus is the one who saves, but it is as if he wanted to say: “Through your faith, you have allowed me to help you. Through your faith you have opened the door through which I can enter to bring you health and my salvation”.
In the Gospel, we see that Jesus could not do miracles for people who approached him out of interest, out of curiosity, without trust in His person. We have to ask for faith in prayer, we have to have the faith of the woman from the Gospel, who was ill for 18 years, and who approached Jesus with faith, expecting salvation and health. Many have touched Jesus, but when this woman touched Him, He felt that a power went out of Him, and only this woman was healed. She was healed because she told “Yes” to Jesus with her whole heart. She had the courage to abandon herself and to give herself to Jesus, this is why Jesus could give Himself to her.
To believe in one person means also to know this person. Without faith, this is impossible. Hence, God is a person. We can truly approach a person only with an open heart, with a heart that gives itself and which accepts the other as a gift. We can never completely know God, because He is always new, always different. God always wants to surprise us. With Him, we can never be bored. Prayer can be boring, but not God. If prayer is difficult, it is a sign that much selfishness has to die in us, so that God may break through to the first place in our lives.
Sin, which is in us, took away from us the power to do good. This is why we experience difficulties in prayer, difficulties in pardoning, in loving, in confessing our sins, in arranging our lives according to God’s commandments. This is why Mary, our Mother, reminds us, “You are not ready to seek the gift of faith from God”; because we do not know this gift and we do not feel the need for it. To grow in spiritual life means to strengthen within us the virtues of faith, of hope and of charity. Who can say: “I fully believe in God, I perfectly love God, I live in hope”? We experience that we can always grow in faith, in hope and in love more and better. We can grow to the fullness of Christ within us, because we are created in His image. This is why Our Lady comes, this is why she speaks to us not leaving us in our own tranquillity but offering us the peace of her Heart, which is abandoned to God.
Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic
Medjugorje, August 26th, 2002