Reflection on Our Lady's Message
By Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic
DECIDE FOR PEACE
“Dear children! May your life, anew, be a decision for peace. Be joyful carriers of peace and do not forget that you live in a time of grace, in which God gives you great graces through my presence. Do not close yourselves, little children, but make good use of this time and seek the gift of peace and love for your life so that you may become witnesses to others. I bless you with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Our life is filled with everyday decisions. We always have to make decisions for everything. Some decide for this, some for that. We have to make decisions as long as we live. In her last message Our Lady calls upon us to make our life a decision for peace. Deciding for peace means deciding for Christ: «For he himself is our peace» (Ephesians 2: 14) as St. Paul wrote in his pastoral letter to the saints in Ephesus. Jesus brings peace which is not the superficial or fake peace that people talk about. It is a peace attained through tests and struggles. It fills up human hearts transforming them from within. Jesus says: «Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives» (John 14:27). Jesus came to earth in order to tear down the wall of hostility and unrest that reigned between man and God, and to establish the Kingdom of love, joy and peace. The peace that Jesus gives us is not an absence of unrest or wars, it is a filial and peaceful relationship with God. The peace Jesus brings is peace that touches and changes human hearts thus transforming the world.
All the messages of Our Lady that we have been receiving for the last twenty-seven years are permeated with humbleness, love and peace. On the third day of the Apparitions, while the seers were climbing down the hill, Our Lady appeared to Marija Pavlović and said: "Peace, peace, peace – and only peace!" "Peace must reign between man and God, and between all people! Our Lady has presented herself in Međugorje as the Queen of Peace. She calls everybody to personally be joyful carriers of peace because we live in the time of grace in which God gives us great graces. These last twenty-seven years have been a true time of grace because Our Lady has been very close to us in a special way. Millions of pilgrims who have found the meaning of life and spiritual peace here are witnesses of that.
Our Lady calls us to be witnesses. Every one of us should become a witness. Faith provides us with strength to be witnesses of Jesus in this world. It is precisely thanks to the testimony of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the apostles and martyrs of the first Church that we have been given the legacy of faith in the Triune God.
True witnesses have left us behind in the Kingdom, especially those who are revered as saints by the Church. They are present even today as a part of the living prayer tradition of the Church since their life, the writings they have left behind or their prayer serve as examples. They contemplate God, praise Him and do not cease to worry about those that they have left on earth. Having entered into the joy of their Lord, they are the true witnesses put above many others. Their mediation is the highest service one may be given according to God's intention. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us, we can and we must pray to them to intercede for us, as well as for the whole world (cf. CCC 2683).
Therefore, all those who wish to follow Jesus and fight for the truth must know that they may be faced with disapproval. There is only one way to victory, and that is to follow our Lord Jesus Christ because only in this way may we become the tools of peace, as one of St. Francis of Assisi’s sayings goes. May the motherly blessing given to us by the Blessed Virgin Mary – the Queen of Peace – help us attain this.
Fr. Danko Perutina