Tuesday November 20, 2007
October 5, 2007
Fr. Gerry Gallen SJ, born in Scotland, Jesuit Priest from Preston England
Anyone who listens to you, listens to Me.” “Anyone who listens to you, listens to Me.” What Our Lord is telling us this morning is a wonderful thing, but it brings with it an awesome responsibility. “Anyone who listens to you, listens to Me.” Each one of us here are missioned to be the voice of Christ in this world, so we had better be very careful of exactly what it is that we are telling others, as we speak through our words and deeds, the voice of Christ. Each Christian is called to be a little Christ or a wee Christ in this world. We hear a lot here in Medjugorje about Our Lady’s messages. But what use is Her message if it is not listened to? Or carried? What is the ultimate message of our faith? It is, of course, the sublimed “Good News” that we are given through Jesus Christ. It is, of course, through Jesus Christ, Son of God, Son of Mary that we meet the world, through whom we are called to give glory to God and life eternal.
“We all just heard this through the Gospel according to Luke. But let me tell you about the Gospel according to Daniel. I better explain, first of all, who Daniel is. Daniel is my eight-year-old nephew, now living in New Zealand. But before he ended up moving there, three years ago when he was five, I was allowed to go home from my Jesuit mission in England, to my hometown then in Motherwell, Scotland. Daniel had just started primary school. He came back from school in the afternoon, full of excitement and enthusiasm. To refer to him, I wasn’t wearing my clerical collar, so perhaps he forgot who I was. But he ran in and threw his school bag down and said “Uncle Gerry, Uncle Gerry, have you heard of this man Jesus?” Before I could say anything he started telling me this story about Jesus. He said, “He was pure, dead brilliant!” And so He was! (laughter) “He was a great man. He did all of these great things. He was amazing. But the Roman police, they didn’t like Him. The Roman police arrested Him. They took Him away, and they beat Him up. Then they got a piece of wood,” and, of course, being a child he had to explain with his hands as well. “And they nailed this piece of wood to His hands! Then they nailed this piece of wood to His feet! Then they pulled Him up! But then, just before Jesus nearly died, He pulled one arm off and then He pulled the other arm off. Then He jumped off the cross and grabbed the Roman soldier’s swords and chopped all of their heads off!” (laughter)
“Obviously Daniel wasn’t listening, or maybe wasn’t told the rest of the story. So taking the opportunity for a little evangelization, I said to him, “Daniel, you’ve got the story almost correct. Yes, Jesus was a good man. Yes, Jesus did wonderful things. Yes, He was arrested by the Roman police. And yes, they did nail Him to a piece of wood. But you know, He died.” There was a look of puzzlement on Daniel’s face. He just couldn’t understand this. I said, “But then, Daniel, three days later Jesus rose from the dead.” And Daniel paused and then he said, “And then He chopped all of their heads off!”
“We need to have a child-like enthusiasm for the Good News, but we must get rid of childish desires for retribution. In essence, to be bearers of the Word, we must be truly forgiving people. Quite simply, without forgiveness, Christ cannot be present. Hence, the need for the penitential rite at the very beginning of each Mass. The Gospel passage from Luke, we have just heard, tells us part of Christ’s missioning of the 72 disciples. Today each one of us is given that same mission by Christ. The very word “Mass” comes from the Latin, missa: to go on mission. It is here in this place, that we receive Christ in word and sacrament, that we are missioned to take that same Christ to the world. In essence, the Church must be an evangelizing Church. Otherwise it is nothing but a cozy little club.
“We are the bearers of the Word today. What happens, here in Medjugorje, is rendered meaningless if we do not allow our experience of the presence of God here to somehow shape our lives away from here. That is the message of a deeper conversion of our hearts which we all need to listen to and then to coin. As we claim to have a spiritual experience here and it doesn’t somehow effect how we live our lives in some way, then I suggest all we are getting here is a warm, cozy, fuzzy feeling.
Fr. Gerry Gallen from Scotland, in Medjugorje
“How can we speak of the voice of Christ? Well really, the voice of Christ means, in essence, the less words we use and the more action we put into our lives, the more authentic will that voice be and the more people will be attracted to the Way, the Truth, and the Light.
“St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits and the spiritual exercises which were written to help those who were on retreat, and the pilgrimage is a form of retreat, he asks the retreatant as he meditates at the foot of the cross to ask himself three questions. We can ask ourselves those three questions today here in Medjugorje.
1. What have I done for Christ?
2. What am I doing for Christ?
3. What will I do for Christ?
“ If we are going away from this place thinking, “how can I find God when I go home?” Perhaps this little saying will help.
“ I looked for God,
But God I could not see.
I searched for my soul,
But my soul eluded me.
I cared for my neighbor,
And I found all three.”
Fr. Gerry Gallen SJ
As we prepare for Thanksgiving, we should remember Our Lady said, I need you. June 1981 And She has said, I cannot do anything without you. August 4, 1988 And She has said, I cannot do anything without the help of God. I, too, must pray like you. August 29, 1982 So in light of Our Lady’s needs, we should also ask:
1. What have I done for Our Lady?
2. What am I doing for Our Lady?
3. What will I do for Our Lady?
Because it was Our Lady who appeared blessing our nation November 24, 1988 in the Field.Click Here.