"Dear children! I call you also today to open yourselves to prayer. In the foregone time of Lent you have realized how small you are and how small your faith is. Little children, decide also today for God, that in you and through you He may change the hearts of people, and also your hearts. Be joyful carriers of the risen Jesus in this peaceless world, which yearns for God and for everything that is from God. I am with you, little children, and I love you with a special love. Thank you for having responded to my call." April 25, 2003
JESUS AT THE WRONG ADDRESS!?
It’s easter morning.
The world squared its accounts with Jesus. His disciples are scattered in fear. For them, he does not exist any more. Their last remembrance of Jesus is his tomb, the end of a life of a man who was so different from them. They understood nothing of his message. They even forgot that he said that he would rise again to a new life. The death-mentality of mortals was stronger than their hope in life.
In the crowd of those who were lost and disappointed, the only ones who kept their presence of mind were the Mother of Jesus and his disciple John, but both crushed by pain. The day after, Mary of Magdala and the other Mary joined them. They wanted to visit the Tomb of Jesus, but Jesus was not there any more. They were looking for him at the wrong address. Jesus does not live among the dead, he is alive and he awakens the dead to a new life.
He tombstone that was removed gave a clear message, which resounds until today all over the world: Jesus is risen! “And he said unto them, Be not afraid: You seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here!” (Mk 16:6)
From that moment, everything has changed. Death does not rule any more over humanity. Every creature gets a chance for a new and eternal life. In fact, death is no more – Jesus squared the accounts with it. The door of salvation is wide open. The tomb is no more the last station. Jesus invited us to live eternally in the house of his Father and of our Father. This is why he tells us: “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be condemned.” (Mk 16:16)
Through our baptism, we take part in Christ and become a part of the Church. This is in fact the path that leads to eternal dwellings. On this path, there should be no stop-and-go, but reality sometimes leads us in the wrong direction. We walk and run but there is no goal at the horizon. We seek but we do not find. Often we seek Jesus on a wrong address. It is difficult for us to recognise him in the heart of a brother or a sister next to us. But, it is there that Jesus dwells. Let us knock at that door and we shall surely find him. Our Lady also invites us to seek him there. So let us remove the stone that encloses us into our tombs and errors. Let us allow the rays of the Risen Christ to enter into our inner being, and our path from the nest to the stars will be illuminated.
Fr. Mario Knezovic
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of March, 45,000 communions were distributed and 923 priests from this country and abroad concelebrated Holy Mass in Medjugorje.
Pilgrims were here from Italy, Russia, Ukraine, France, Germany, England, Switzerland, the USA, Spain, Slovenia, Canada, Puerto Rico, La Reunion, Japan, South Africa, Slovakia, Korea, Denmark, Austria, the Czech Republic, Philippines, Scotland, Poland, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
EASTER IN MEDJUGORJE
On the Eve of the Palm Sunday, a prayerful concert was held in St. James’ Parish Church in Medjugorje. The theme of the concert was, “The Seven Last Words of Jesus on the Cross”. This work by Joseph Haydn was played by the Chamber Orchestra of the Symphonic Orchestra of Mostar under direction of maestro Tonko Ninic.
During the entire Holy Week and for Easter, numerous groups of pilgrims arrived in Medjugorje, desiring to prepare themselves for Easter and to celebrate the biggest Christian feast here. For Easter itself, there were several thousand pilgrims from all over the world, but the most numerous were Austrians and Germans. Also very numerous were Croatian pilgrims and those coming from neighbouring parishes, who wanted to make their Easter confession here. Every evening, during the three-hour prayer programme, there were about 20 priests hearing confessions.
The Holy Triduum was celebrated in deep recollection and prayer. The liturgical celebrations of Holy Thursday and Good Friday (as well as the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain) and the Liturgy of the Word in view of the Easter Vigil were celebrated in 10 languages.
SEMINARS IN “DOMUS PACIS”
During the last period, there were three “Prayer and Fasting” seminars for pilgrims from Germany, Austria and Slovakia. Franciscan sisters led one seminar for young girls from Herzegovina.
For “Prayer and Fasting” seminars, contact Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic, Zupni ured Medjugorje, Gospin trg 1, 88266 Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina. (Fax: 00 387 36 651 444)
NO VISA FOR MEDJUGORJE FOR CITIZENS OF SLOVAKIA, THE CZECH REPUBLIC, POLAND AND HUNGARY
By the decision of the Foreign Affaires Ministry of Bosnia and Herzegovina, between April 1 and October 31, 2003, citizens of Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary need no visa for Bosnia and Herzegovina. We ask kindly the organizers of pilgrimages to inform about this decision their collaborators in the above-mentioned countries.
THE 8TH INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR PRIESTS
The 8th International meeting for priests will take place in Medjugorje from June 30 to July 5, 2003. The theme of the meeting is, “Servant of the Eucharist”.
You may make reservations by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org , at the Information Office personally, or by phone/fax: +387-36-651-988 (for Marija Dugandzic).
We ask all priests who have arranged their own accommodation with a family in Medjugorje to note in their application the name and the phone number of the family where they will be staying. We will arrange accommodation for all the priests who have no direct contacts and have not arranged their own accommodation. (Please note in your application if you wish us to arrange accommodation for you.)
Instead of a monetary payment, we ask you to kindly celebrate five Mass intentions.
It is necessary to bring with you: your celebret given by your superior, an alb and stole, a Bible, a small FM radio with headphones (for simultaneous translation).
You can find the programme of this meeting on our web-page www.medjugorje.hr .
Many priests who do not have access to Internet may not have been informed about the existence of this international meeting in Medjugorje. Therefore, we kindly ask all Organisers of pilgrimages, Prayer Groups and Centres for Peace to publish this information as widely as possible by all means at their disposal, so that as many priests as possible may participate. In as much as it is possible, we also kindly ask you to financially assist the priests who would like to come but do not have the necessary funds for such a journey.
We thank you in advance and pray for God’s blessing and the blessing of the Queen of Peace upon you and your work.
SUMMER SCHEDULE AT THE SHRINE
The summer prayer programme schedule at the Shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje begins on May 1st.
Prayer of the Rosary in the parish church will begin at 6pm. Holy Mass will be at 7pm, followed by the blessings and the third part of the rosary. Eucharistic adoration on Thursday will be after the evening Mass and on Wednesday and Saturday from 10-11 pm. Veneration of the cross will be on Friday after the evening Mass.
Rosary on Apparition Hill and the Way of the Cross on Krizevac will begin at 4pm. You can make your confession every evening during the evening prayer programme.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 04/28/2003