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Holy Thursday, March 28, 2013 A.D.

Today is the feast of the Lord’s Supper, Holy Thursday. Our Lady of Medjugorje has much to say regarding the Body of Christ. Our Lady said in 1983:

“The Mass is the greatest prayer of God. You will never be able to understand its greatness…”

We share with you the following, which has never before been published. It is from the real-life experience of A Friend of Medjugorje, and is taken from the Caritas Community rule, “’A Way’ in a New Time,” written by the Founder of Caritas at the directive from the Bishop of the Birmingham Diocese. It tells not of concepts and ideals, but of a real-life experience that the Eucharist preserves life. A Friend of Medjugorje gives us here his own real-life experience:

“Years before, even before I heard about Medjugorje, I was traveling past St. Paul’s Cathedral, downtown. I had picked up a truckload of sod (grass) and had a truck and trailer full to capacity. I was going downtown to the “Block” to pick up five or six extra day helpers, of which I often did when I needed more help than my regular employees. I was already late and in a big hurry. However, I always stopped in at the church, even if for only a minute, to say hello to Jesus in the Tabernacle. I would often park my truck in the lane and put flashers on, run inside to say a short prayer, and then be off on my way. On this morning, I was able to pull off into the right lane, where several parking spaces were empty, allowing me to pull my truck out of the way of traffic. I went into St. Paul’s to pray and found the church attended by the school children as I went in front of the Blessed Sacrament on the side. I was tormented because I knew Mass was about to begin. How could I walk out on Mass? I had read that St. Thomas More, while attending Mass, was notified that he was expected to appear before the King immediately, without delay. He sent the messenger back and had him say to the King, “I will come in response to my earthly King’s request after I am finished serving my Heavenly King.” He knew to do this might mean his head. However, the King relented. For me, how could I leave Holy Mass, even though I could easily justify it because of worldly reasons? I couldn’t! And so I stayed. I prayed the homily would be short. It wasn’t. I thought because it was a weekly Mass there would be no singing, but they sang. It took all my resolve not to be concerned with the sod, the need to get it laid out that day, and picking up men, etc…but I was not going to leave.

“It may not sound so difficult, but everything in me, from a business standpoint, my training and experience in what it takes to get jobs done, told me to leave and to leave now. I decided I would immediately leave after receiving communion; after all, I had gone well beyond practical worldly reason. However, I found I could not do it. My conscience told me I must stay and give appropriate thanksgiving after receiving Jesus. I felt my body wanting to run out, yet my soul was saying, “No, you will stay.” After my prayer of thanksgiving, another battle in deciding, with all my reason tempting me, to leave before the final blessing. Why stay? But I knew I had to stay and receive the final blessing. It seemed as though it was going on and on, for even the priest lingered talking to some of the kids before giving the blessing. But I was determined to stay to receive it. Finally, he gave it and I rushed out of the church. Suddenly, I felt the weight of knowing my whole week would be thrown off kilter because of the decisions I made this morning and financially, at that time, I could not afford such a set back. Nevertheless, I chose God first, even though I knew it would cost me. My resolve was I would just have to live with it because when such choices are presented, I felt God had to be first.

“Upon arrival at the Block of 14th Street, I was relieved to see 20 men or so still there. Still I knew some of the best would have already been picked up. I pulled over, got out and was immediately surrounded by those who wanted to be picked to work. Out of nowhere, came a man who grabbed me by the collar and began screaming in a rage and cursing. He seemed to be crazed. Suddenly I realized he had a knife in his hand. He reared back with his hand from behind his back and with his arm in a full swing, lunged the knife for my throat, screaming all the while as if possessed. It was so fast; I didn’t even have time to react. For some strange reason, I felt strongly not to. Just as the knife was about to plunge into my throat, he stopped, and the point of the knife did not penetrate. But he reared back a second time, again slinging his arm rapidly and with full force, only to stop a second time just at the point the knife would have pierced me. I saw men in the background, wide-eyed. Men who I had helped for several years by giving them money and food. In helping them, I had become friends with some of these black men. As this rage was going on, I could see the fear in their faces behind the crazed man, and I knew they saw it was my end. A third time, with all his might, he went to stab me, with the full force of his weight and intensity, only to stop or rather be stopped just before the point of the blade touched my throat. No more than ten seconds had passed. Everything was so quick that neither I nor anyone else had time to react. Suddenly, he screamed, let go and ran off. The other men came to me, asking if I was all right, and said they were scared to death. They were all repeating, “I thought you were dead,” or “I don’t know why that man didn’t stab you, he was crazy.” They relayed that they froze and could not move.

“I myself was puzzled, for his rage was certainly of an uncontrollable nature. But I soon remembered from where I had just come. My choice of Jesus over my worldly security had placed me in physical security through what I had only a few minutes before received. The man wanted to stab me. Three times he tried. The other men who witnessed the scene could not believe I had not been hurt, as this man’s rage indicated that he really was intent on doing. Everything in him tried and wanted to, but he couldn’t. Having received Jesus just a few moments before saved me. Literally, the Eucharist saved my life. The angels blocked the man’s hand. I realized it was because of putting Jesus first in my life. Even though it went against my worldly well-being and took all my might to stay in Mass, the outcome was, that despite all this man’s might, he was stopped. Today I would not likely be here had it not been for just having received Jesus. To me it was clear and simple. The Eucharist not only saves, but also preserves. It was a lesson of choosing God first and the fruit of doing so. Needless to say, this and so many other lessons have fortified myself, and later the community to the importance of Mass.”

“A Way” in a New Time # 24
A Friend of Medjugorje

In the Caritas Community, A Friend of Medjugorje has always led us, in that our participation at Mass not be an ‘attendance record,’ whereby we ‘tally-up’ the numbers of Masses and not change our life. Instead the Holy Mass should humble us, so that we can “live the Mass” in our daily lives, every moment of our life. Our Lady of Medjugorje said on April 3, 1986:

“Dear children, I wish to call you to a living of the Holy Mass. There are many of you who have sensed the beauty of the Holy Mass, but there are also those who come unwillingly. I have chosen you, dear children, but Jesus gives you His graces in the Mass. Therefore, consciously live the Holy Mass and let your coming to it be a joyful one. Come to it with love and make the Mass your own. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Make the Mass your own, contemplate what much of the world has neglected: that by placing God first in our lives He can then protect us. As A Friend of Medjugorje says, “Our protection is not our 401k’s, healthcare, guns, or stock investments, and not even in our food chain. Our protection is the same way God was protected: wrapped in Our Lady’s mantle.” She is teaching us so much in this time. Let us listen to Her. This is the live desire of Our Lady for each of us, it is the desire of A Friend of Medjugorje and the Caritas Community, not only for ourselves, but for each of you. The Community of Caritas would like to express to everyone their prayers for these days, asking in-turn for your prayers, sacrifices, and Masses for everything that Our Lady wants to accomplish through this Mission and Community.
Caritas of Birmingham
Operated by the Community of Caritas

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