November 11, 2019
St. Martin of Tours
Dear Family of Mary!
Today I want to share with you a wonderful homily given at the International Mass on Saturday evening, November 9, 2019. It was given by Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo OFM. The Archbishop was on a visit to Medjugorje to speak with all the communities that have houses in Medjugorje. His homily is a great blessing to us all. You can listen for yourselves at this link:
Sometimes it helps to read a homily after you have heard it, to reinforce what has been said. So here is the transcription (made from the English translation).
Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo OFM - Secretary for the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life Nov 9, 2019 Homily and closing remarks at the International Mass in Medjugorje
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I would like to greet you with the words of our Seraphic Father, St. Francis. "May God give you peace."
"One of the rules when discerning the vocation for life is to try to imagine oneself at the moment of death and consider there and then one's own life, reviewing it and asking oneself what criteria I would have allowed to observe in that choice." These are the words of St. Ignatius of Loyola who with these words referred to a long spiritual tradition which he experienced and lived when meditating of death. This is a certain spiritual exercise that asks us to meditate on death in order to be able to understand one's life.
This is not "in", it is not fashionable now because thinking of death scares us. But I think that Ignatius was also right in his thinking because this form of meditation with help us to understand the profound reason of our existence. Such a meditation has its roots in a long Biblical experience. It is enough to think of Psalm 90 in which the psalmist prays to the Lord asking for the ability to count his days. And brothers and sisters that is the only way to obtain the true, profound understanding of our heart, and the wisdom of the heart.
There are two ways to think about death. You can think of death as a dramatic end of life. Or we can think of it as a threshold in which we cross over and enter the fullness of life. Our culture, the culture of today tends to [ignore] death. The Sadducees we have heard in the Gospel had such an attitude. The did not believe in the Resurrection. They focused on only 5 books of the Old Testament.
In the time of Jesus, the Sadducees were the fundamentalists of Palestine. And their dream was to enjoy life on earth the best they could. That is why they ignored death. They did not have any other logic than to be radically present in the moment, here, today. They wanted to be fortified in their own welfare. And I repeat this for the third time, that is the mentality of our time. We do enjoy what we have as much as possible without thinking of what will come. This attitude was disabling the Sadducees to generate life.
That is why they went on and on about a woman who was married that many times and had no offspring. The Sadducees lived in the logic of having and enjoying. Not the logic of gift.
Dear brothers and sisters, only if we are capable of living in the logic of giving ourselves away can we be capable of generating life. Only if we live in agape, that is the gift of becoming love without any limitation, then we can generate life - to continue to give birth to life.
I believe that the Gospel we have heard today invite us to live in the logic of gift and giving. Because this is the logic of God. God gave everything to us in His Son. Without reserve. Without holding Himself back.
Dear Brothers and sisters, I invite you, I invite myself to live in that logic. To give ourselves without limitation, living for God and for others. To live in this time in the way in which we are capable of dying to ourselves, and offering up to the Lord, and thus being able to generate life, to give birth to life, to eternal life.
We have come in great numbers from different parts of the world to this place where you can touch the presence of Mary. Mary is that woman who lived completely and entirely that logic of giving. She gave herself to God. "Let it be done to me according to Thy word." And she gave herself to others.
Think of the Visitation. Mary hastened to help her cousin Elizabeth.
Think of the Wedding at Cana. Mary realizes the difficulty in which the spouses found themselves running out of wine. Mary hastened to help them.
Think of the Cenacle. The Blessed Mother accompanied the Apostles who were afraid.
Here we are in the house of Our Mother [Medjugorje]. This is her place, her home. Let us leave it, convinced that our lives only make sense when we are giving ourselves away for the sake of others. First of all, to God. And then through God to all the others.
When they encounter us in places where they live, that they may all say, "That person was in the house of our Mother. Certainly, that person prayed with Mother and to Mother. That person certainly listened to the lessons that Mother gives to all of us. Because Mary is Mother and Teacher. And therefore, she is the first follower of her Son.
As St. Paul said in the second reading that we heard this evening, "God confirms us in all that is good. May He fortify us in it, as He fortifies us in faith in His resurrection." May God reconfirm us in our ability to give ourselves without limitation to Him and to others. Peace and welfare, Brothers and Sisters.
And after Mass:
Thank you for your hospitality. Your hospitality has always been so brotherly, so fraternal! It is the grace of all of us who are religious, all of us who are Franciscan! Wherever we go...we are present in 163 countries of the world, and wherever we go we find our brothers. Thank you for always making me feel here, at home.
And let us invoke a blessing on all of us here, and not just here but all our beloved ones at home. Let us invoke the blessing of the Lord on all of those who are sick, those who suffer in body, mind and soul. And let us pray until all of us become a blessing for the others.
Let us return home [from Medjugorje], at least, a bit more converted than earlier. Let us return home holy and converted. Let us return home a little bit different than we were when we came here. Let us ask that grace from the Blessed Mother to become a blessing for the others. And say to all that Mary loves everybody. In the heart of Mary there is a place for everybody. Even there is a place for her children who are disgraced, the least fortunate ones. And, also, please pray for me. Pray for the Holy Father. Pray for the Church. Pray for peace in the world.
You can listen for yourselves at this link: https://marytv.tv/more-from-medjugojre/
Thank you, Archbishop José, for your words of faith and wisdom. Indeed: "Here we are in the house of Our Mother [Medjugorje]. This is her place, her home." Our Lady has told us the same thing.
May 2, 2008 "Dear children, By God's will I am here with you in this place. I desire that you open your hearts to me and to accept me as a mother. With my love I will teach you simplicity of life and richness of mercy and I will lead you to my Son. The way to Him can be difficult and painful but do not be afraid, I will be with you. My hands will hold you to the very end, to eternal happiness; therefore do not be afraid to open yourselves to me. Thank you. Pray for priests. My Son gave them to you as a gift..."
Yes, we accept you, dearest Mother, as our Mother. Please do hold us to the very end, to eternal happiness. We live in order to be with God for Eternity! Amen!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
© Mary TV 2019