MARY, OUR MOTHER

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Mary TV Daily Reflection 11/5/2013




(c)Mary TV 2013


J.M.J.
November 5, 2013

Dear Family of Mary!

"Dear children! From day to day I wish to clothe you in holiness, goodness, obedience and God's love, so that from day to day you become more beautiful and more prepared for your Master. Dear children, listen to and live my messages. I wish to guide you. Thank you for having responded to my call." (October 24, 1985)

Yesterday we heard from Fr. Ruairi O'Domhnaill about the importance of Our Lady's messages. He called her our "Anam Cara", the Friend of our soul, because she gives us spiritual direction through her messages.

Today, we will hear from another priest, Fr. Benny McHale, also from Ireland. He gave a very brilliant talk about Our Lady's messages and their purpose. I will share the first half of his homily today, and the second half tomorrow:

I have noticed that most of our readings are warnings, warnings about using our time well, waiting for the second coming. I often think of the story of the priest in the States who was in the classroom with a bunch of young people, and he said to them, "Nobody knows when they are going to die." And one little boy put up his hand and he said, "Excuse me, Father, your wrong. My uncle knew." And the priest said, "No he couldn't. No that's impossible." And the little boy said, "Yes he knew the year, the month, the week, the day. He even knew the time of day he was going to die." And the priest said, "That's impossible. How could he know that?" And the little boy said, "The judge told him."

But apart from that kind of pre-knowledge, all we can manage to do, as we've heard all week, is to use our time well. I often wonder why Our Lady came here to Medjugorje. She came to renew the Church. That's what she is all about. Medjugorje is about the renewal of the Church. And how is she going to do that? By giving us the messages that we can take home to our own parishes, and renew the parish there. That's why she brought you here. Coming here is a great privilege. It also carries a great responsibility. Because there is a battle going on between two kingdoms, between the Kingdom of evil and the Kingdom of right, the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan.  And we've got to decide whose side we are on in that great struggle. It has been there since the beginning of time, of eternity, with Adam and Eve who opened the gates to evil, and it has spread to us. That battle is still going on. And as somebody said, "All that is needed for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing."

I'm going to challenge you this morning, you good people who have been brought here (Nobody decides to come here, everybody is brought.) to realize that Our Lady has brought you here to renew you so that you can go back and renew your church. The one thing we need to do that is to be holy. "Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am Holy." Because holiness, like the mosquitos that attacked our group the other night, always finds attractiveness. Did you ever meet a holy person? You just know it. They've got some character, some quality that draws you to them. And our Church is called to be holy, but that can't happen unless each of the members accepts that challenge.

So the Lord has brought you here to make you holy. And twice in that first reading St. Paul used that lovely word, "for our sanctification." We've been freed from sin, and now the second part of our journey is to become holy.

I must say I am often disappointed when people come here and ignore the messages. Some people don't even know the messages. People come here and they don't live the messages. Then they wonder why the Church is not being renewed. Look, Our Lady brought you all here for a purpose, to renew your church at home.

I'd like to talk a little bit about the messages this morning, because for some people, I'm not saying they shouldn't come here, but it's awfully important that you hear what is being said in the messages and go out and live them. If you don't it's like someone buying a cook book, and instead of making the recipe, they buy another cookbook with the same recipes in it. The old Chinese proverb says, "What you hear you tend to forget. What you see you remember. What you do, you understand." So it is only when you do the messages, when you live them, you understand them. You could read them to the end of your life and still not understand, but start doing them and they become alive.

Try to remember that Medjugorje is not a place. Medjugorje is a spirituality. Because wherever the visionaries are, Our Lady appears to them. It is centered here in Medjugorje like the Catholic Church is centered in Rome. But Rome isn't the Catholic Church. It is where it is centered. And Medjugorje is the center. And you know the real center of Medjugorje is your heart. Until your heart becomes infused with the messages, somehow we turn Medjugorje into a place of pilgrimage but not something that makes us vitally alive.

So I would ask you before you go home, would you all buy a copy of the messages? There are lots of books in the book stalls. And read them. Read one every day, and ask the Lord, "Lord would you make that message alive in me?"

Can I suggest a few ways you might live the five stones she gave us?

First is fasting. That is probably the most difficult one, because in the western world we live in, we are probably too well fed. But do you ever feel that life is going very quickly? Do you want to slow it down? Then start fasting. Just start fasting and you will see how long the day is! You will wonder will the next meal ever come. You'll also lose a lot of weight, which in our world today can be very helpful. But seriously when we fast, as you heard Paul say in that first reading "Put your bodies at the service of righteousness for your sanctification." Fasting empties us of our ego, and makes room for God. Not just fasting from food. Not everybody is able to do that, but you do what you can. Often fast from television because we waste a lot of time watching empty programs. I think Groucho Marx once called television "chewing gum for the eyes." You watch the thing and then you yawn and go off to bed, and it does you no good. Imagine if we spent that time in prayer, if we spent that time in opening our hearts to the true love of God.

The second thing is the Bible. She asks us to read a little bit of the Scriptures every day. And again we have that message in today's Psalm, "Happy the man whose delight is the law of the Lord." We should read a bit of Scripture every day. Then we wouldn't be embarrassed when a Jehovah's Witness or a Mormon knocks at our door and starts quoting Scripture. We feel so inadequate. As Catholics I am afraid, we have fallen down on Scripture. We often think it is a Protestant book. It is a tragedy of the Reformation. And that Psalm today is challenging us, "Happy the man whose delight is the law of the Lord." That is Jesus' way of saying that if you want to be happy let My Word come into you. And if you notice that before the Gospel today, we made three crosses, one on our foreheads, one on our lips, and one over our hearts. They represent our hope that the Word of God will come into our mind to change the way that we think, be on our lips and change the way we speak, and above all be in our hearts and change the way we love. And once I discovered that, I make a fourth cross and put it on my ear to change the way I listen to allow the Word of God to seep into my heart. (Fr. Benny McHale, Homily of 10/24/13 in St. James Church)

Fr. Benny said that the center of Medjugorje is each of our hearts. How beautiful! And how true. Our Lady comes to renew, purify, strengthen and prepare each of our hearts for the Kingdom of God. It is through our hearts, filled with the light and love of Christ, that the kingdom will come to others.

More tomorrow!

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2013





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