“Dear children! Also today, I call you to be love where there is hatred and food where there is hunger. Open your hearts, little children, and let your hands be extended and generous so that, through you, every creature may thank God the Creator. Pray, little children, and open your heart to God’s love, but you cannot if you do not pray. Therefore, pray, pray, pray. Thank you for having responded to my call.” September 25, 2004
MY GOD AND MYSELF
When Jesus asked his disciples, “What do people say, who am I?”, they answered hastily: “John the Baptist, Elijah, one of the prophets…” When He asked, “And you, what do you say, who am I?”, they hesitated. Peter dared to say: “You are the Messiah!” (Cf. Mc 8, 28-30)
It is very important for us to know who our God is. My God, your God, is not something. He is Someone. God is a concrete person and not something distant and imaginary. He is not in the clouds. He is in your heart. He completely reveled Himself in the God-Man, Jesus Christ. But which are our images and our ideas of God? It happens often that we want to reduce God to our measures, instead of allow Him to melt us and to mold us. Sometimes we reduce God to an instrument of satisfying our needs, our projects and our desires. Then, disappointed, we raise our eyes towards heaven, believing that God has forgotten us, simply because He has not done what we wanted Him to do for us.
The first degree of life with God and in God, is to put one’s own will at the disposal of God. For that, Mary is our model and our fellow traveler. She is doing what God wants, and not what she wishes, and this is why she could say her “FIAT”. In his last writings, the spiritual author Dietrich Bonhoeffer speaks about two basic Christian attitudes: the resistance and the abandonment. We want God to intervene in our lives, but at the same time, we resist: we put limits to Him, we reduce space for his action, and thus, we make out of our God an idol, a pagan deity.
Through the messages that Our Lady is giving in Medjugorje, she wants us to follow Jesus, to follow Him in all, without picking and choosing! The choice to follow Jesus is not just a declaration; it must be a vital act and a decision. To walk on the ways of God means to accept God’s plans, and not to maintain one’s own projects. This is why it is very important to know who is God in whom I believe, and what I expect from Him. And finally: is my God really the “God of Jesus Christ”?
Fr. Mario Knezovic
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of August, 221000 communions were distributed and 4763 priests from this country and from abroad concelebrated Holy Mass in Medjugorje.
In August, pilgrims were here from: Italy, Austria, Poland, Korea, the USA, England, Ireland, Lebanon, France, Slovakia, Holland, Argentina, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, China, Spain, Slovenia, Rumania, Lithuania, Mexico, Australia, South Africa, Belgium, Canada, Croatia et Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25TH ANNIVERSARY OF PRIESTLY ORDINATION OF TWO HERZEGOVINIAN FRANCISCANS
Two Herzegovinian Franciscans, Fr. Ivan Cilic and Fr. Mate Cilic, celebrated in Medjugorje the 25th anniversary of their priestly ordination. They spent most of their priestly life in pastoral service in Germany.
The solemn Holy Mass in St. James’ parish church was presided by two of them, in concelebration with numerous priests, among whom Fr. Slavko Soldo, Franciscan provincial in Herzegovina. Fr. Branko Rados, pastor of Medjugorje, gave the homily.
MONS. FRANCISCO VITI, RETIRED ARCHBISHOP OF HUAMBO (ANGOLA) CAME TO MEDJUGORJE
Mons. Francisco Viti, retired archbishop of Huambo (Angola) spent several days in Medjugorje in September 2004.
He told us: "As a Christian and as a believer, I came to pray and to adore the Lord. I thank the Lord for the experience of faith that I made here, especially concerning the sacrament of reconciliation and the Eucharist. I had a special joy in experiencing the spirit of prayer here. The ecclesial communion that reigns here between the pilgrims is a special grace of the Lord."
MONS. MAURO PARMEGGIANI IS INVITING TO THE "FIRST EUROPEAN MEETING OF EUCHARISTIC ADORATION YOUTH GROUPS" IN ROME
Mons. Mauro Parmeggiani from Rome came on pilgrimage to Medjugorje during the Youth Festival 2004. Mons. Parmeggiani is recommending us to do all that we can, so that "Medjugorje may preserve the simplicity, the austerity and the intensity of prayer, so that all may encounter Mary, and through her, her Son Jesus, who are inviting us to conversion and the essential Christian experience today".
In the diocese of Rome, Mons. Parmeggiani is especially charged with the pastoral work with youth, and he is preparing the "First European Meeting of Eucharistic Adoration Youth Groups", which will take place in Rome from October 6th to 10th, 2004. The theme of this encounter is, "The Eucharist: Source and Fulfillment of Mission". More about it: Servizio Diocesano per la Pastorale Giovanile - Vicariato di Roma, Piazza S. Giovanni in Laterano, 6/A, 00184 – Roma, Italia. (http://www.adoremus2004.org, email@example.com).
SOLEMNITY OF THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS
For the solemnity of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, celebrated in Medjugorje on the first Sunday after the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, about 50,000 local and foreign pilgrims gathered at the Shrine of the Queen of Peace. As every year, pilgrims were streaming to Medjugorje even during the night. Many of them traveled hundreds of kilometers, some of them barefoot. The solemn Holy Mass on Cross Mountain was concelebrated by 57 priests and presided by Fr. Ivan Sevo.
For local and foreign pilgrims who could not climb Cross Mountain, there was a Holy Mass in the parish church at noon, presided by Fr. Tomislav Pervan.
The Evening Mass concelebrated by 68 priests was presided by Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic.
As a visible sign of the eternal light shining from the Cross, one week before the feast, the cross on Cross Mountain was illuminated, reminding us of its significance, and preparing parishioners and pilgrims for this feast.
SEMINARS IN "DOMUS PACIS"
There were two "Prayer and Fasting" seminars led by Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic for pilgrims from Poland, from Slovakia and from Lithuania.
Twenty-two Franciscan seminarians from Croatia and from Bosnia-Herzegovina made there a retreat in preparation for their final vows.
THE FIFTH INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR MARRIED COUPLES
The 5th International Meeting for Married Couples will take place in Medjugorje from November 3 to 6, 2004. The theme of the seminar is "How to heal the marriage and the family?"
It is recommended to ring with you a small FM radio with headphones (for simultaneous translation) and a Bible.
The seminar will take place in the Hall behind the church. Participation per couple: 30 €. You may make reservations by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by fax: +387-36-651-999. The number of participants is limited by the available space, se we ask you to send your registration as soon as possible, latest by the end of September. All the participants are invited to individually provide their accommodation in Medjugorje.
WINTER SCHEDULE OF THE PRAYER PROGRAM AT THE SHRINE
On Monday, September 13th, began the winter schedule of the prayer program at the Shrine. The prayer of the Rosary in the Parish church begins at 5pm, Holy Mass is at 6pm, followed by the blessings and the third part of the rosary. Eucharistic adoration is every Thursday after the evening Mass and on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 9pm. The Veneration of the Cross is every Friday after the Evening Mass.
He Rosary on the Apparition Hill and the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain begin at 2pm. The occasion for confessions is every evening during the evening prayer program.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 09/28/2004