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January 31, 2011
St. John Bosco Dear Family of Mary! "Dear children! Also today I am with you and I am looking at you and blessing you, and I am not losing hope that this world will change for the good and that peace will reign in the hearts of men. Joy will begin to reign in the world because you have opened yourselves to my call and to God's love. The Holy Spirit is changing a multitude of those who have said 'yes'. Therefore I desire to say to you: thank you for having responded to my call." (January 25, 2011)I don't know if I can tie this all together, but I'm going to try. Today's gospel is Mark 5: 1-30. It is the story of the Gerasene demoniac. Jesus comes upon a man possessed by a legion of demons. He is completely uncontrollable, violent and self-destructive. The people of his village had given up on him, having tried to restrain him in every way. Jesus speaks to the demons and sends them into two thousand pigs. The man recovers his peace and asks Jesus to let him follow him. But Jesus says, "Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you" (v.19). The former demoniac goes off and proclaims his healing to the Decapolis. He does exactly what Jesus told him to do. In doing this, he first must have presented himself to his family, and told them of the miracle of his healing.I think witnessing to one's family can be difficult. Our family members know us so well. They have seen us grow up; they know our weaknesses and failings. They may have made judgments about us. They can be skeptical! So witnessing about Our Lady and Jesus, about our faith and our conversion, can be very hard. Imagine how ashamed this man might have been, having been so completely out of control, so crazy. His family may have been terrified of him.
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But the reality was that Jesus had completely healed him. He was free and changed. Certainly his family would rejoice at the miracle. But, would they? Might they not retain some distrust, some fear? He would have to take that chance. The Lord had told him to go tell them all that He had done for him. And that is what he did!I think that it is just such witnessing that will spread God's kingdom today. "Joy will begin to reign in the world because you have opened yourselves to my call and to God's love." As we open ourselves to Our Lady, her messages, her way of life, we will be filled with God's love and changed. Then we will be able to witness that change to our families. (It doesn't even have to take words!) They will see the change and rejoice, and seek the same grace in their own lives. Then this joy will travel out in ever widening circles till the whole world will be changed. Like the demoniac, we will find ourselves clothed and in our right mind! And our families will rejoice!
"The Holy Spirit is changing a multitude of those who have said 'yes'." Already, through Medjugorje, the Holy Spirit has changed many, many people. Thousands of vocations have arisen, thousands of happy marriages have begun, thousands of healings have happened! It is this multitude of good fruit that will change the world! Thank you, dear Mother, for having given us such a call! Thank you for bringing us deliverance and conversion through your Son, Jesus. Thank you, thank you!! In Jesus and Mary!