Pastor: Mary may prepare Christ’s return
By Jakob Marschner on Aug 7, 2012
The Virgin Mary’s message has been the same for 500 years, and it seems like her apparitions are preparing the return of Jesus, says Medjugorje’s parish priest. Mary’s appearance could save the world says Fr. Petar Vlasic who calls commercialization harmful to Medjugorje’s primary message.
The Virgin Mary’s apparitions in Medjugorje may precede the re-appearance of Jesus, just like her apparitions seem to have done over the past five centuries, says Fr. Petar Vlasic, parish priest in Medjugorje
Medjugorje may be part of Heaven’s preparations for the re-appearance of Jesus Christ, says Medjugorje’s parish priest Fr. Petar Vlasic in an interview with the Croatian daily Vecernji List.
To reach this conclusion, Fr. Vlasic initially turns to the first day of the apparitions in 1981 – on June 24, the Feast Day of St. John the Baptist, in his day the predecessor and proclaimer of Jesus. Next, he places the Virgin Mary into St. John the Baptist’s context of proclamation and repentence by summing up the Virgin’s apparitions over the past five centuries.
“The core messages were given on the first day of the apparitions. John the Baptist appeared with the message of repentance, Jesus appeared with the message of repentance because the Kingdom of God was here, not in some distant future” Fr. Petar Vlasic opens in Vecernji List.
Fr. Petar Vlasic (born 1937) has been the parish priest in Medjugorje since 2007
“The same message has come from Mary’s mouth in all her apparitions for the past five centuries. There is nothing new for us, but she gives us a medicine that could save the world.”
“The world is rushing still faster into crisis, we see no end to it. Long ago there was talk about limits to growth. Now we have stagnation, recession in the world, and we need to accept the Gospel, Christ’s advice” says Fr. Petar Vlasic.
“Only the truth and the Word of Christ can save the world. But Mary is important in the service of her Son and His re-arrival in the world. Once He was brought into this world, and it seems that her apparitions in the past five centuries prepare the way for His re-arrival” Medjugorje’s parish priest concludes.
Medjugorje’s privilege and responsibility
“If Mary chose this place, then we must endeavor to respond to that privilege and this love with our life. That means acceptance of new standards and criteria in life” says Fr. Petar Vlasic
Fr. Petar Vlasic acknowledges this analysis to have immidiate consequences for his parishioners. His view of Medjugorje’s role calls to mind messages of the early 1980s when the Virgin Mary called the residents of Medjugorje to be her reflection in accomodating and giving witness to pilgrims, thereby showing visitors another kind of life.
“If the parish is in a privileged position in relation to all others, if Mary chose this place, then we must endeavor to respond to that privilege and this love with our life. That means acceptance of new standards and criteria in life, acceptance of an evangelical lifestyle, a life that is radically different from the standards of this world” Fr. Petar Vlasic says.
“If we are beloved children of Mary, then in all of us Mary should be our beloved Mother. We must repay love with love, restore the first love, to recover the enthusiasm of those early days 31 years ago when we had nothing, but were all rich. God rich. That is the role of the parish and all the parishioners” the parish priest says, acknowledging that nothing can be taken for granted.
“Grace is like a summer shower. It pours and goes. It depends on us how we can expose it.”
Then and now are different worlds
Vecernji List next asks the parish priest to compare the early days with the modern Medjugorje where Fr. Petar Vlasic has been the parish priest since 2007.
Medjugorje in 1981 when the apparitions began
“Viewed on the outside, these are two completely different worlds. In the beginning we only had a phenomenon, the visionaries, and a religious fervor that was unstoppable” he says.
“Everything back then was plotting against the phenomenon of Marian apparitions, except that the believers had a sense of guaranteed inner security: Yes, a miracle takes place here, Heaven came down here, unseen and unheard of things are happening” Fr. Petar Vlasic says, contrasting the past with the modern Medjugorje:
The modern Medjugorje, far into urbanization
“Today the picture is quite different. Today we want everything, and food and beverages and lodging, everything except enthusiasm and a solid faith and prayers that had the godless forces of communism disappear.”
Where threats against Medjugorje came from communists in the early days, they come from capitalists in 2012, the parish priest notes:
“Today a huge commercialization is being offered, each in their own way wanting to ‘monetize’ the benefit of the phenomenon. Sometimes, of course, to the detriment of the spiritual and the primary message which is why Mary appeared” Fr. Petar Vlasic tells Vecernji List.