Wednesday April 9, 2008
Fr. Jozo – The following is part of the talk that Fr. Jozo gave to a group of English-speaking pilgrims on March 31, 2008
Welcome. A Happy Easter to you all – to you, to your loved ones, to your families. An abundance of peace and joy and Easter blessings to you all. When Jesus appeared to His disciples, the Mother, before them, saw Him. And Mary Magdalene also saw Him before the disciples. Thus, we the sinners also have a chance. We are called to meet the Mother, to meet Jesus, to meet the Church, to meet the new better life of the Church that believes, the Church that prays, the Church united with the Mother. That is what Medjugorje is - for twenty-seven years where we recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread; that temple were Jesus draws with His own blood, where He forgives the sinners. How beautiful it is to kneel in Medjugorje and confess, to enter into the river, this current of God’s mercy to be purified, cleansed. I ask you to look here to your left. You see the image of the Divine Mercy? That mercy of God bids each one of us and frees us from every evil, every woe. And we feel well. Why? Because God becomes so near to us, so close. Perhaps you as a priest or a lay person did not meditate on the message of Our Lady, Her message of the last month, where as it shocked me. You might say, “I am a Christian already, I go to church regularly. I celebrated Easter.” Do you remember what Our Lady said a week ago? “Dear children, work on your personal conversion.”In this springtime, you will see where a person abandoned his field or his garden. And everyday it grows worse and worse. All the weeds will grow, showing that the owner does not love the land to work on it. Our Lady wants us to work on ourselves. God wanted us to work the ground and bear fruit. And even more so we are called with our life, our soul, our marriage. Our Lady says work on your conversion. If you only knew what conversion was. If only the grace that took place, and God would illuminate our hearts – that as priests and lay people, as parents, when they recognize what conversion is. What is to convert? It is a wondrous call. The first call of Our Lady was for conversion. And twenty-six years and 8 months, Our Lady again says convert. Work on your conversion, thus saying that you have neglected your heart and soul. You have neglected the spiritual values that are so abundant. They (the heart and soul) are full of weeds. They are full of fruitlessness. You are not sowing the good and fertile soil. To sow the seed, much needs to be prepared. The soil needs to be cleared, plowed, nurtured, and only then the seed is planted and again must be nurtured and cared for. Because as Jesus said, if the seed falls upon the rocks, if it falls amongst the thorns, if it falls on rock, road, or thorns, it bears no fruit at all. When does the seed bear its fruit? When it falls on the good, prepared soil. On good and noble soil, every grain bears fruit – one thirty fold, another 60 fold, another yet 100 fold yield. Let us try to reflect on what that means.
More than 40 years ago, I took time to seriously contemplate this parable. I came to the field where I grew up. I took one grain of wheat and placed it on my left palm. And with that grain in my heart, I saw the life and the fruit from the seed. Then I piled around that one grain, thirty other grains as a parable of Jesus. And my eyes were opened. Thirty grains is a lot. It is almost that I couldn’t even distinguish the one grain in the center. My entire palm was full of grains. To get 60, I added 30 more grains. And nearly my palm and fingers were full. And to get 100, I had to add over 30 more. I remember when there were so many grains in the palm of my hand and fingers, they started to fall, one by one. My entire palm and fingers were not enough to hold 100 grains. And all I could say was, “My Master, what an incredible teacher you are. You have opened my heart. I recognize your parable.” I feel that this is conversion. Because Jesus says in the Gospel, the Father wants you to bear fruit, then your fruit will remain. The Father is glorified when you bear much fruit. But if I do not work on my conversion, then I am a rock. Then I bear weeds. Then I permit the enemy to bring darnel and plant it therein. It is terrible when the darnel, the weeds come about, because Jesus says, it must not be uprooted because then the wheat will be uprooted with it. Much time has past when the harvest is finally separated. How necessary it is to understand Jesus’ parable. Am I asleep? Am I working on myself? Or am I just asleep, like the owner of the field that sowed the seed and went to sleep, thinking this is wonderful. I have done my job. But didn’t count on that the enemy would come and plant and sow darnel…We stand here before Our Lady, the parable of Jesus and before the words of Our Lady. We stand before Her message, “work on your personal conversion.” What does that mean? In twenty-seven years, She has built the theme of conversion in many of Her messages. And a week ago, again She said, “you are far from meeting with God in your heart.” What does it mean, far? It doesn’t mean that you are close. Father (a priest) comes from Chicago. Chicago is far from here. He has to cross the entire Atlantic to come. He has to cross much of the American continent to come. They came far. And from that far away, we need to take a step in order to meet God. Why? Because we are far away. Who is saying this? She, She who sees where we are, that we may not be deceived. Our Lady is not speaking to those who are not on pilgrimage. She’s, first of all, speaking to us who are on pilgrimage. You are far away. Why? Because you take the messages irresponsibly. I feel that in my heart. Many of you feel that Medjugorje to be just some kind of news, some kind of an information, insignificant. But Our Lady in Her messages, in Her apparitions, says that they are important for the entire world – for the entire world. I know that the sun is important for the entire universe. If it were to be extinguished we would never be, there would no longer be life. Imagine something that is so important for the entire world as Her apparitions, as Her messages, as Her time among us. Those of you who live so close to the Anglicans, Protestants, those who have lost the love for the Blessed Virgin, thinking that She is no longer important. They think that they can turn Her aside and only convert through Jesus. That is over – No. She wants to give birth to you. She desires to find you each day anew. Behold your Mother. It is better not to come to Medjugorje at all, than to be here superficially. That is why I implore you, do not come again if you do not want to listen to Our Lady. It is better not to come. Because there are people who do not come, there are Bishops who do not come, there are also priests who do not come because they are afraid. They are afraid because Our Lady says fast. It is easier for them to say, “I have not accepted Her messages.” And perhaps it will be easier on the surface for you because Our Lady is calling you to fast, and you yourself are saying, “I can’t.”…That is why you are far away, you are irresponsible for the messages. And that is why the Church, us, we are showing our immaturity. You do not know Her voice, you do not know Her sigh. You do not know Her call to Her children. We act in ignorance…You are far away. You say you are Christian. No, we are not. You celebrated Easter after Lent, but Easter is not a calendar event. Easter is life. It is a meeting with God. Who exits, Who is, Who is responding to you, Who desires to give you the gift of every grace. I cannot receive the gift if I am dead. Therefore, I must be around so that He may say to me through my priest in confession, “I absolve you from your sins. I raise you to new life.” It is He Who died for you…
God gave us His commandments. And God gave a means of how we are to live. We don’t need somebody else to say to us, “I believe better than this or that. Yes, our weakness says to ourselves, “Yes, it is easier not to fast. It is easier to sleep than to pray. It is easier to sit than to kneel.” I know that you have thrown away the kneelers in your churches because the Risen Jesus is no longer with us. We don’t have anyone to kneel before. Both of our last Popes (Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict) implore us as a Church to return Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in six documents. What are we doing? We are listening to what is easier for us. Not to reply is sleeping, through the lips of the Blessed Virgin Mary, through the lips of our Church. Let us reflect on what it means to work on our own conversion. It really means to stop before the mirror. And I see this as our mirror. This is a measure of our love, Jesus Crucified, the measure of God’s goodness towards us. And as we stand before this mirror, you have to admit that you do not love, that love is not love, that you really do not believe. When you stand before this mirror of the Crucified, you will see that you are an unbeliever. And as St. Francis, you need to ask. He heard the voice of Jesus saying, “Francis, my church is falling apart. My church is falling apart in divorces, in those lost in darkness, in arguments, immorality, sloth. My church is falling apart.” “Lord, what do you want me to do?” “Help me to rebuild my church.” Is it possible to rebuild the Church? Is it possible to have Jesus? It is a gift to help Jesus. It is a blessing to help Jesus. And we desire to fear. This mother who raised Him, and for twenty-seven years has been educating and raising us that we may become a light. She says to us, “You are far away.” For three days, Jesus went far away from Her. Her eyes could not see where He was lost. She set out to seek Him, and today She is seeking us. She is looking for us, and we must recognize that and return home with Mother. How? Is that possible? Yes, that is why She is here among us because it is possible - to hear the Mother, to meet with the Mother, to love the Mother…
Some Feedback From Our Readers
Strong words, beautiful words, true words. So many newer parishes have done away with kneelers and in my church, despite a bishop’s order to kneel during the Consecration/Communion, a visiting priest who directs a graduate theology dept. asks us to stand up for both. He is a good man, with strange values as so many in our church admin are today.
I just continue doing what I always did, although physical limitations have been unkind and very severe, often making my attendance and kneeling impossible as a senior widow with too many major medical problems, two bad legs, and a bad spine.
But, I know I’ve fallen away from the daily Rosary, so who am I to criticize others? Work on myself first.
Thank you for publishing his teaching and great photos, too. Always appreciate seeing photos since I’ve never been able to go to Medjugorje the last 20 years and now am too disabled to think about it and have suffered too many major financial losses in recent years. I believe Our Lady is here for each of us around the globe when we call Her thru our prayers, Her Rosary. Gratefully with God’s blessing on Caritas.
God bless you. Thank you for everything, but today the powerful talk that Father Jozo gave to the English pilgrims on March 31, 2008. Please, please give us the complete talk if you can. It is wonderful and a great lesson for all of us. Please put it all in your great website. Awaiting for that talk of Father Jozo and keep doing your work for Our Lady and Our Lord. You are always helping us.
When I was in Medjugorje in 1986, I was fortunate enough to see one of the visionaries in a room in ecstasy, mouthing silent words in the air which I believe was the Blessed Mother speaking to her. I am glad there is up-to-date information on the events that take place in Medjugorje on a regular basis. I am also looking forward to the day when Father Ljubicic shares with us the secrets that will be told to him by one of the visionaries. Peace.
I am so happy to read this article. It is true that we are very far away and that is why we need to pray and we need to remind each other everyday about God’s word. May God bless you. I will try my best to give the message to all my friends and to my Bible study friend and church members. Thank you.
Brooklyn, New York
This morning, Wednesday, I woke with the intention to fast, in obedience to Her repeated requests. I have failed so many times. Again, today I had to say, “I can’t.” Fr. Jozo’s talk hit me hard. I will copy it, and keep it close by and try again.
God bless you for having shared this very important message with us. I pray people continue to work on their conversion, for our Heavenly Father loves us. As a mother, I can understand Our Blessed Mother reaching out to Her children of God, wanting every child to be united to God. God bless!
My Dear Community Family,
When I went to Medjugorje in 1989, I had the great honor to (literally) run into Fr. Jozo. He was walking from the rectory to the Church for his talk. I was walking back to the Church. We both were absolutely alone outside. I don’t even remember a breeze, or birds singing. Simultaneously, we kind of bowed to each other, smiled, and said, “Thank you.” “No, no, thank you.” And giggled. We walked together as far as the entrances, then entered the church separately.
Fr. Jozo blessed me (as well as others) after his talk. I had been simply freezing to the bone the whole time I was in Tihalina and could not warm up. The second Father put his hand on my head, and this only a touch, briefly, there was a warmth like liquid sunshine which started from my head and ran down my whole body. I was so comfortably warm the rest of the day, I could hardly keep my eyes open.
I will always love Fr. Jozo because of his love for Our Mother and Her Jesus, and his beautiful smile. Hope to see you all in June/July. Much love and peace in Our Lady,
Santa Barbara, California
Dear Friends of Medjugorje,
These very strong words from Fr. Jozo and many times from you are our support, our source of encouragement, like hands that shake us and say: “Wake up!”
I’ve been feeling sadness for not being able to do what Our Lady tells us constantly. It is like I could understand exactly the words of St. Augustine, “Your hearts will only rest in peace in the Lord,” but I keep holding from giving myself entirely to the Lord. ,
After I read that, I was thinking that I must do what She tells us. And then I thought: Why? Because it is what our dear and sweet Mother is asking, and it is such a pleasure, an honor, to please Her, to be one of Her soldiers. But, soon I realized: No, I have to do that, because I’ll be in deep trouble if I don’t. She is a desperate Mother who knows what is happening to us and what will happen and She sees that, despite Her imploring us, we don’t take the right path
Thank you for your work and your example showing us it is possible and the fruits are uncountable.
For years we never had a devotion to our Mother Mary. She was like a statue somewhere in the distance. Since I have found out about Medjugorje about 5 years ago, I feel deep joy because of our Mother Mary’s visits and Her messages. My deepest sorrow is that we cannot go to Medjugorje because of finances. I truly believe, though, that She knows we cannot go to Medjugorje and that in our spirit we are there and I hope that we will gain the same benefits as those who are there already. I saw the hill of the apparition on ‘virtual earth’ and I felt high as a kite and slept peacefully that night as I have not slept for many years. I pray that our children may want to follow Her as closely as we do now. I just wish the priests and other church members had mentioned Medjugorje years ago.
I was so very blessed and converted to the Catholic Faith at Easter Vigil Mass on the 15th of April 2005. On the 30th of August 2005, I was received by our Father Pope Benedict 16th, which I took as a grace (reward) from God for my conversion. I was truly blessed again and managed to go to Medjugorje twice last year and met Fr. Jozo. He is truly amazing. I could listen to him forever. Tonight is the first time I’ve read Our Holy Mother’s messages, via, the internet. The reason I did was because I feel that I’m being called to a closer conversion with God, to join a holy order. I had just discussed this matter with a nun, who is a close friend on the telephone for the first time tonight, then decided to look at this site. I couldn’t believe what Our Holy Mother’s message was, for us to come to a deeper personal level of conversion. I now know God is calling me again. I’ve married many times and have had my failures, trouble with my health and my family, but I know in my heart and soul, Jesus and Our Holy Mother have not given up on me. I pray for all of you out there whom I’ll never meet, and ask you all to do as Our Holy Mother asks of us, “To pray for all poor sinners.” May the Holy Trinity and Our Holy Mother bless each of and every one of you. Love and prayers,
The talk by Fr. Jozo on the 31st of March is powerful. We need strong reminders in order to live the messages of Our Lady. I thank you for publishing this speech and I pray that we will all renew our commitments to Our Lady’s patient requests. Please pray that I may receive the grace to fast today and on every Friday and Wednesday.
Timely reminder. Thank you. I’ve been so near to the Church but so far from God. Tiring myself out with activities, saying it’s God’s work. No time to fast nor Adoration. Now I know why I am so heavy, been far from God. I will allow myself to be a child again, with Mother’s grace be drawn nearer to God. I will spread the Good News that He seeks us, He loves us. Thank you.
I am one of the many who were on fire with fervor for the Lord and Our Lady and Her Medjugorje messages in the early to mid 90s, only to be beaten down by a steady string of personal and family tribulations in the subsequent years.
I continued in my Catholic faith and love for Our Lady and I tried to put my faith in action, but it was really tough going and my dedication to formal prayer was uneven.
In December I received a flyer for Look What Happened While You Were Sleeping from Caritas. It was the first mailing I’d received from Caritas in many years. The book woke me up and since then I’ve just ‘slipped back’ into living the messages and working on my conversion like the ‘missing years’ never even happened.
Personally, I think that God was at work in me all those years but in a different way, and I believe this will prove to be true too for others who find themselves ‘waking up’ again. My personal tribulations have brought a new maturity to my faith and, now, to living Our Lady’s messages in a deeper way. I have no doubt that this reawakening is an important ‘call up’ by Our Lady and a Sign of the Times.
I love Radio Wave and I pray for all the Caritas Community and work. My financial circumstances are very poor, but as I can I will donate. Peace of Jesus.
My conversion began when I was younger 18. Then I lost it at 19. I went as the definition would say, insane. Again I was saved. Then I was lost and in trouble. I was rescued again but the devil fooled me. So began the devil’s afflictions on me. So many tears of loniliness, sadness, pain, grief, bitterness, etc. – so came my end. But God kept me alive in the pit of Purgatory. As time passed on with some failures that were grace, God still forgave. I prayed for forgiveness and He said this is your chance. I am giving you a chance. I took the opportunity and made a lemon into a lemonade. God helped me and is still helping to make what was wrong to something great. I am an eagle, a butterfly, dare say a saint. I love God very deeply. I am his best friend. He is my hope. God said to me, now I know he will not betray me. So this I say with confidence. God forgives, cares, and loves us. I hope that by praying the Rosary and my novenas I would find happiness, peace, and a love of my own, and joy that I rarely have. I think conversion is a sweet love to give to God with full devotion to Him in every thought, deed, action, speech we do.
Reading Fr. Jozo’s talk on your beautiful website brought me back to hearing him live. I was present at the talk, and the focus of the pilgrims that were there. I was shocked how many times he pointed out the priests that were in the audience. I thought that they would be offended by what he was saying, because there were times he was talking directly to them. But they were in good spirits and took it as good spiritual advice. Afterwards they joined him in blessing the people there. It was really beautiful. I was glad to have been there. God bless you.
Fr. Jozo’s meditation strikes at the heart of the important and necessary work of conversion, and work that must be ongoing in every season of our life and relationship with God. What gentleness we are given by Our Lady to engage in such spiritual work – gentleness that makes such ‘weeding’ not burdensome nor arduous but truly a gift of joy.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Cut the net of sin that imprisons you. Be free to love and serve the Lord. Pray, pray, pray.
Wow...I have never been to Mej. I am a convert to the Catholic faith. I was a former evangelical protestant for 20 plus years. I love the messages from Mej. but struggle so much to do the basics...fasting on Wed. and Friday...and to love from my heart and not my head. I pray for the willingness and the grace to obey Her messages from the heart. I pray for all of us who are reading these messages who want to love and obey Our Lady from our hearts. "Blessed Mother, hear our prayers and give us the grace and willingness to obey from our hearts!"