Reflection in December 2001
Reflection on the Message of December 25, 2001
BE A SIGN FOR THIS PEACELESS WORLD
“Dear children! I call you today and encourage you to prayer for peace. Especially today I call you, carrying the newborn Jesus in my arms for you, to unite with Him through prayer and to become a sign to this peaceless world. Encourage each other, little children, to prayer and love. May your faith be an encouragement to others to believe and to love more. I bless you all and call you to be closer to my heart and to the heart of little Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call.” Message of December 25, 2001
In the message of November, shortly before the beginning of Advent, Our Lady called us to prepare our hearts for the coming of the King of Peace who alone can and want to give peace to the human heart, from which comes hatred and love, forgiveness and vengeance, peace and restlessness.
Decisions for good and for war come from the human heart. Without Jesus, peace is impossible. Without Jesus, all human efforts, all initiatives and politics to establish peace are in vain. Trouble and hatred come from a peaceless heart, just as peace and love come from a heart, pacified in God. All depends on where the roots of my being and of my existence are seated, where I have planted the tree of my life. We can approach God only with an open heart that is not asleep, with a heart that believes, with a heart that is not chained up by haughtiness, which finds it difficult to bend the knee before another man and before the Creator.
To avoid this Christmas passing us by, to meet the Child, we have to bend down to the level of a child. Jesus told us: “Unless you turn and become like children…” (Matthew 18:2-4) – which means not childish, but with a childlike heart in the matter of purity and of evil. We have to come to a standstill in front of the manger and imbibe ourselves with this sight, this mysterious event of an unusual birth, which happened on our earth. Since this event, nothing is the same any more, this earth is no more cursed nor condemned to perish. We have to sit at the feet of Jesus, descend from the mountain of our haughtiness and arrogance which believes that we know everything and that we can do everything alone, in order to allow the Child Jesus to talk to us and to fecund us with his peace. This Christmas also, let us learn from children what trust is, let us learn from the Child Jesus who came down to earth, descended into the helplessness of a newborn child, to become able to understand him and to receive him. Children also receive, understand and follow the words of their parents who know how to bend down to their level and to talk to them. This is how God bended down to our valleys in order to become comprehensible for us, this is how the Blessed Virgin Mary came down to us and spoke to us in a language we understand. All her messages can be condensed in two words: pray and be converted. Be converted from dead things and objects to the living God, from whom comes every joy and peace.
Also in this message, Our Lady talks to us and encourages us to peace, not without reason, because we see that we are surrounded and filled by troubles of all kinds and colours. Nothing in life happens accidentally. Everything has its cause, which we maybe do not recognize. Peace and trouble have their causes and reasons. There is no blind destiny in our life, as some like to say often.
As on the first day, June 24th 1981, when Our Lady appeared to the visionaries with the Child Jesus in her arms, so in this message she brings and gives us Jesus, who has the answer to all our questions, the solution to all our problems. Also today, Mary gives us Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. She gives Him anew, as she gave Him once and forever to this humanity, when she had given birth to Him in her body and in her faith, in Bethlehem. This event is not a pious story but a reality that happened on this planet. Without Jesus, we are lost creatures erring on this earth without meaning and without goal, without Him, our life knows no way but is only a wayward life. If we do not have Him, what remains is only lie, death and despair.
While He was walking on this earth, Jesus asked: “When the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8) Jesus comes not only on Christmas, but wants to visit you every day. He wants to find an open door, an extended warm hand, a burning light of faith. Jesus wants to visit you in your daily life, monotonously coloured and full of heaviness of your duties; He visits you in people whom you like and whom you like less, Jesus visits you in all encounters and all conversations with people. Will you recognize Him? Jesus asks: will you listen to his word, will you – like Peter – throw your nets, will you – according to His word – forgive and bless people, life, your ways and crosses, or curse and despair? Jesus asks today also whether he will find faith on earth.
Our Lady does not cease to encourage us and to enthuse us, counting on us who want to receive and to accept the words of her messages. She knows that we cannot be threatened by our enemies and by those who hate us, but mostly by our lack of faith, of love and of friendship for Jesus. We are responsible for our own life, but also for lives of those whom God has placed on our way. Our happiness depends on happiness of others. Let us try today – not tomorrow – to listen to the echo of the voice of God as the longing of our own heart. Let us calm down the noise and voices which consume us – bad news and catastrophes from newspapers, radio and television – in order to feel the nearness and the warm heart of our heavenly Mother and of the little Jesus whom Our Lady bears for us and gives to us.
Medjugorje, December 26th, 2001
Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic, OFM