Fr. Slavko's Reflections on the message of
JANUARY 25, 1996: "Dear Children, today I invite you to decide for peace. Pray to God that He will give you true peace. Live peace in your hearts and you will understand, dear children, that peace is God's gift. Dear children, without love you cannot live peace. The fruit of peace is love and the fruit of love is forgiveness. I am with you and I am inviting all of you, little children, to first forgive in the family and then you will be able to forgive others. Thank you for having responded to my call."
Before we begin with our thoughts about this message, let me, dear readers, remind you of the Christmas message. Last month we were called to unite ourselves with Jesus and to decide for Him. Jesus became Child and Bread and, in that way, did everything Himself to become united with us. Now it is for us, in the evangelical sense, to become children and bread ourselves. For us remains the great assignment, in the manner of John the Baptist, to become ever smaller so that Jesus can, all the time, grow ever bigger in us. Jesus is the Light, the Way, the Truth, Mercy, Peace and Love. The more we unite ourselves with Him, the more we will be filled with Light, with Peace, with Truth and with Love. May our path with Mary direct us there.
As I already said, our path with Mary leads us to Jesus and to an even deeper unity with Him. For this reason this first message of the year is again very important. Mary has come to help us on the path to Jesus -- Jesus who is Peace and who can give peace.
Today I Invite You To Decide For Peace
Without our own decision for peace, peace cannot be given to us. This decision for peace immediately has tangible results. To clarify perhaps, let us think of a student who decides for getting good grades in his studies. In such a decision a constant flow of studying is also included, for otherwise the decision for good grades no longer has a reason or purpose. So, dear reader, if you now wish to make the decision for peace, you too should become aware that this decision primarily includes the love, the forgiveness, the humility and the courage to offer one's hand to all others. Let us again refer to Pope John Paul II's Encyclical, Gospel of Life. There he calls upon us all to respect, to serve and to love every life. When we become conscious of these conditions, then we will also understand why peace has not yet become a reality. We are all aware of how often our decisions are frail ones. Mary knows this and so she tells us what else we need to do, and that is to...
Pray That God Gives You True Peace
If we decide for peace, then this one more condition must be added to the other conditions. God is always ready to work along with our decisions, always ready to take our decisions seriously and always ready to start with us from the beginning again. This is the reason that Mary repeatedly calls us to peace. God is patient with every one of us, including those with whom we have already written off and ignored. In His love God is so very big toward us that He is more patient with us as even we are with ourselves. When we no longer have the courage to start anew and when we think that nothing will work anymore, He, on the other hand, never thinks in this way! In His love God is simply not to be challenged or tired. Mary calls us to...
Live Peace In Our Hearts and You Will Understand... That Peace Is The Gift of God
God's love for us is the reason that He wishes to give us peace and He merely waits for our decision. If God did not love us, He would lose patience with us. It is also this way with us and ourselves, with us and others and with us and God. Without love, peace is simply impossible; and that is why our Lady continues with...
Without Love You Cannot Live Peace
Today there are so many people who attempt to create peace without love for God, without love for others and without love for their own lives. It is for this reason that there is so much terrible destruction of individuals, of families and of communities -- destruction that all together has even put the existence of the whole world into serious doubt. At the beginning of the apparitions, Mary told the visionaries that her Son, Jesus, had sent her to help us. God loves what He created, and therefore He calls upon us to work along with Him. Our cooperation with Him is the condition without which nothing will work. St Augustine said "God created you without you, but He cannot save you without you." Once we have decided for peace, we are in full cooperation with God, because it is His will that we have peace. As peace is impossible without love, so too is love, the fruit of peace. The good chain of good reactions goes on and on as Our Lady here tells us...
The Fruit of Peace Is Love and The Fruit of Love Is Forgiveness
One is the condition for the other. One cannot decide only partially for peace, just as one cannot decide only partially for God. To make a lasting decision, all conditions for it must also be accepted. Again, Mary, as mother and teacher, reminds us...
I Am With You
...and with her as guide, one must again start working at peace and do so decisively first and...
Before Anything Else Forgive In The Family And Then You Will Be Able To Forgive Others
All of us have had the experience that sometimes those who are most distant from us seem also to be those whom we forgive and whom we love more easily. This is a deception. Love first brings peace into the family and community, and only then can it spread out yet further. May it in this coming month begin again and spread out yet further with this message. Already before the next message Lent will have begun, and so this message also ought to serve as introduction and guide for us to enter into it.
God, our Father, we thank You that You love us and that in Your love You offer us peace. We beseech You, as Mary calls upon us to do, give us true peace that only You can give. Forgive us that we often expected peace from others and therefore remained without peace. Give all of us the strength to accept the conditions for peace. Give us Your Spirit that we with Mary, as Mary herself did, accept and live Your will. Free us from our weakness and from all fear and distrust, so that we, already today and today again, along with Mary can offer You our cooperation. Bless the visionaries, bless the Parish of Medjugorje, bless all pilgrims and bless the entire world. Oh Father, give us true peace that love will bring us, and give us love so that we can grow in forgiveness and reconciliation. We thank You. Bless us because You are the Father! Amen.
Fr. Slavko, Medjugorje
January 26, 1996
Last Modified 04/25/96