Father Charles Notabartolo, of Florida, from a homily he gave at St. James Church in Medjugorje on October 11, 2010. Here is Father:
“When Jesus said, ‘This is an evil generation.’ Well, that grabbed my attention. I thought a lot about it and since the Garden of Eden; we have had evil around us. Today, society and the secular world are championing all kind of things that are ungodly. This is the world in which we live in.
“It must be said that the Grace of God is even mightier. God’s Grace is present and available to us, but, God never forces Himself upon us. He always gives us freedom. Christ came to give us the freedom to act, so it is our choice to do so. Evil, of course, doesn’t work that way. Evil tries to influence us constantly.
“We should be aware that the world is now turning on itself. There are the evils available through the internet, the T.V., the movies, the music; it is a constant bombardment! So, there is more of a need today for Christians to stand up and be the Light of Christ.
“Jesus also said, ‘This generation seeks a sign.’ I think here in Medjugorje, all of us would like to see some signs. You know, we want to see the sun dance and rosaries change. But, the important thing to see is that these signs are trying to tell us something. The signs point to the fact that God is really present, they support our faith.
“We are all truth seekers and it is Jesus that we come to for the truth. He is the one that reveals the truth to us. Jesus, the Son of God, He is present with us. It is all about a personal relationship with God, that He is real. A God that says to us, ‘I give you freedom to choose to change your lives, to repent of your sin, and to receive My mercy, forgiveness and love.’ This is available to us. We have to repent, we have to surrender to God; surrender our hearts and surrender our wills. Oh, how hard that is, it is a daily challenge and not just a do it once thing.
“We have to get up everyday and say, ‘Lord, what is it that You want me to do? What is Your will for me today?’ In all honesty, we probably want to say, ‘I want to do my will today!’ We have our own agendas and so many demands placed upon by life that God sort of gets fitted in when we find the time for Him.
“We must reorder our day. But, to do that, the focus must be back on Christ instead of us. Our world keeps pushing us to be self-centered, where it is all about me. It really needs to be all about Christ. We need to make quality time for Christ and for prayer and fit everything else around that. We can make that work, but first you have to make the decision to do that.
“Admittedly, it is very easy to keep your focus on prayer here in Medjugorje. Have you thought about how to change your schedules back home to put God in your prime time? Mary is giving us the answer. You have all read what She says on the message cards. She asks us to read the Bible, to pray, to attend Holy Mass, to be nourished by the Eucharist. She also is asking for the Rosary, fasting on Wednesday and Friday, and monthly Confession. It really comes down to changing our hearts, minds, and wills for Christ.
“We must see that if the focus remains on us; there will be no change. The focus needs to be on Christ and our relationship with Him. Let us begin today to stand up and be Disciples of Christ. Let us be His witnesses and His light to the world, not by our words but by how we live. Maybe then people will know what being a Christian is about. With the Blessed Mother’s intercession and by the Grace of God, we will do today what God is asking of us.” – Fr Charles
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