Comfort one another
Vicka with pilgrims (Feb. 2013)
(c)Josip Zubac 2013
February 7, 2013
Dear Family of Mary!
"Dear children! Love is bringing me to you - the love which I desire to teach you also - real love; the love which my Son showed you when He died on the Cross out of love for you; the love which is always ready to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. How great is your love? My Motherly heart is sorrowful as it searches for love in your hearts. You are not ready to submit your will to God's will out of love. You cannot help me to have those who have not come to know God's love to come to know it, because you do not have real love. Consecrate your hearts to me and I will lead you. I will teach you to forgive, to love your enemies and to live according to my Son. Do not be afraid for yourselves. In afflictions my Son does not forget those who love. I will be beside you. I will implore the Heavenly Father for the light of eternal truth and love to illuminate you. Pray for your shepherds so that through your fasting and prayer they can lead you in love. Thank you." (February 2, 2013)
Our Lady calls us to courageous love, love even for our enemies. She calls us to live "according" to her Son. That means to pick up our crosses and follow Him. But she says,"Do not be afraid for yourselves. In afflictions my Son does not forget those who love. I will be beside you." This reassurance really struck me. Here's why...
I was reading a scripture during Morning Prayer yesterday. It was one I have wondered about often. 1 Thessalonians 5:1 - 11:
As regards specific times and moments, brothers, we do not need to write you; you know very well that the day of the Lord is coming like a thief in the night. Just when people are saying, "Peace and security," ruin will fall on them with the suddenness of pains overtaking a woman in labor, and there will be no escape.
You are not in the dark, brothers, that the day should catch you off guard, like a thief. No, all of you are children of light and of the day. We belong neither to darkness nor to night.
Therefore let us not be asleep like the rest, but awake and sober! Sleepers sleep by night and drunkards drink by night. We who live by day must be alert, putting on faith and love as a breastplate and the hope of salvation as a helmet. God has not destined us for wrath but for acquiring salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us, that all of us, whether awake or asleep, together might live with him. Therefore, comfort and up build one another, as indeed you are doing. (1Thes 5: 1-11)
I realized yesterday, that this passage used to introduce fear into my heart. I would focus only on the warning, "you know very well that the day of the Lord is coming like a thief in the night. Just when people are saying, 'Peace and security,' ruin will fall on them with the suddenness of pains overtaking a woman in labor, and there will be no escape." It made me a little panicky. And I notice that sometimes people quote this passage as a reason to get worried about the future. This worry about the coming of the Lord like a thief in the night can turn us inwards, making us think only of ourselves.
But today, I realized that I was focusing on the wrong part of the passage. St. Paul is very careful to explain that this warning is not for us, not for believers in Jesus. The warning is for those who live "in the night", who dwell in the darkness of unbelief. But we are "children of the light and of the day". We do not belong to the darkness. And so the coming of the Lord will not take us by surprise. We will be waiting, with joy, for His coming.
Paul goes on to say, "God has not destined us for wrath but for acquiring salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." This is our future! We should have no fear for ourselves. But with all our hearts we should pray for and witness to those who do live in the darkness, in the night. It is for them that we should be worried!
And so, Our Lady wisely tells us, "Do not be afraid for yourselves." This is no time for fear. This is a time for love!! And though we will encounter difficulties witnessing to the faith and loving our enemies, we will not be alone. "In afflictions my Son does not forget those who love. I will be beside you." We will be in good company along the way. Jesus and Mary will help us, strengthen us and guide us. Our job is to help those who have not come to know God's love, before it is too late. They are in the dark, and need God's light.
"Therefore, comfort and up build one another, as indeed you are doing." Let's comfort one another, and quell all our fears for the future. Our Lady is with us to help us. Our job is to pray and sacrifice for souls, to help those in unbelief to find God, to open their hearts and believe.
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
©Mary TV 2013
PS. "Fruit of Medjugorje" is tonight at 8:00 pm EST. " Family Prayer: Divine Mercy"is Friday, 3:00 pm EST. Don't miss them!!
PPS. "Tea with Rosie" is outstanding this week!!!