Tuesday September 18, 2007
Homily Given by Father Michael in Medjugorje,
Priest From Milwaukee,
September 18, 2007
Today’s homily is a beautiful homily of Jesus, the power of God, the power and the movement of His heart towards a widow who loves her only son. It parallels, in a sense, Mary, looking at Mary underneath the cross, losing Her only Son. And what She must have went through. The woundedness that we hear, remember Simeon said ‘a sword will pass through your heart so that the thoughts of many will be revealed.’ Many of us here today have wounds on our hearts. Many of us here have old scars, battle scars, spiritual scars that we come to Medjugorje to lay down. Go up the mountain with our bare-feet, to look at a place where Our Lady came, and still comes to this day. We all have scars we all have wounds, we all are that dead boy (Gospel:Raising of the dead child at Nain).
But something happens here at Medjugorje, and Our Lady brings us to Her Son. And the Master, the Physician, Jesus Christ, takes those scars, those wounds, and He heals, only if we lay them in front of Him. See, there is something about the spiritual life that even we priests don’t get, because we can give up to 95% of ourselves, but there is still that 5% that we hold with a clenched fist. For some reason we don’t want to lose our identity to Christ. Do we lose our identity? Or do we gain our identity? This is the question that you must answer here. Do we lose our identity when we give all to Christ, or do we gain it? I say we gain it because then (we reach) our full potential of why we were created, the meaning of life, to learn how to love. None of us are experts at it; none of us know truly how to love.
But on that cross we were given a symbol, the sign, to know how to love. Jesus says that the greatest act of love is to give up one’s self for another. We know this; you married couples know how hard it is to be married especially in today’s age with everything coming against you all the things causing wounds and scars in your relationships: your children not listening, being disobedient, and all the things that are happening in your lives. We fill a hole in our soul with these things. And we add them to ourselves.
The other night I had a dream. It was here in Medjugorje and it was of the Good Shepherd, and He was walking through the field. And up yonder across the fence was this wolf, and he was preying upon the sheep. He was looking at the sheep and he was hungry. And all of a sudden in this dream, the sheep turned to the Shepherd and they bore their teeth. And they started biting at the Shepherd. Why is it that we, the sheep, we bite the Shepherd? Why is it that we, dead men, fill ourselves with all these things that the world has to offer, and we will not lay them down? But the One that feeds us, Christ Himself, has given Himself and everything that He had, to save us.
Yet when we get home, away from Medjugorje, and we get in our routine of life, somehow we forget. We stop praying, we stop thinking of God, we stop caring and loving others. It’s easy to pray here, we are on Mt. Tabor. We in a sense are John or James or Peter and we stand here and we say ‘Lord let us build a tent. Let us build three tents. Let us feel good about ourselves because we are praying three rosaries a day.’ But does that happen at home? Are we carrying that home? And are we fighting the spiritual fight, for our families, for ourselves? And are we laying down the wounds that we have in our hearts. You are here to be healed.
You are called by Mary. And Mary is the Ambassador to God Himself. These visionaries were picked by God Himself. This town was picked by God Himself. And sometimes we have a tendency to trample over, walk over, and not think good of the people here. But the people of Medjugorje have sacrificed for twenty-six years, so that you can be healed. Today let us walk away from this Mass, this day with a spirit of gratitude, for the people. And let us walk away and bear our wounds, and let us take the sign that Christ gave us, that Cross, the symbol of the greatest love that man has ever seen and let us carry ours. Because without the cross, if we try and walk around it, we will not make it. Remember salvation is not guaranteed. We must go through the Cross to receive it.