On December 25, 2020, the Solemnity of Christmas dominated by the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic Heaven did not remain silent. On the contrary, Our Lady of Medjugorje, spoke to us by sharing with us, we who are still in this valley of tears, this very meaningful message through Marija:
Dear children! I am carrying to you little Jesus who brings you peace, Him who is the past, present and future of your existence. Little children, do not permit for your faith and hope in a better future to be extinguished, because you are chosen to be witnesses of hope in every situation. That is why I am here with Jesus that He may bless you with His peace. Thank you for having responded to my call.
Our Lady is telling us that She is bringing to us little Jesus, who brings us peace. Mary is the one who gives Jesus because she is the one who accompanied him throughout his entire life. Adding to that, Mary is the one who accompanies the Church, the community of those who believe in Jesus. Thus, the two realites go-hand-in-hand together. In his fifteenth cathecesis on prayer of November 18 2020, given from the Library of the Apostolic Palace, entitled The Virgin Mary, prayerful woman, Pope Francis said:
“Mary accompanied Jesus’ entire life in prayer, right up to his death and resurrection; and in the end, she continued and she accompanied the first steps of the nascent Church (cf. Acts 1:14). Mary prayed with the disciples who had witnessed the scandal of the cross. She prayed with Peter who had succumbed to fear and cried in remorse. Mary was there, with the disciples, in the midst of the men and women whom her son had called to form his Community. Mary did not act like a priest among them, no! She is Jesus’ Mother who prayed with them, in the community, as a member of the community. She prayed with them and prayed for them. And, once again, her prayer preceded the future that was about to be fulfilled: by the work of the Holy Spirit she became the Mother of God, and by the work of the Holy Spirit she became the Mother of the Church.”
As a Mother of God and Mother of the Church, Mary gives us the little Jesus. This Jesus who is, as Isaiah 9:6 rightly tells us: Prince of Peace. Moreover, St Paul, in his Letter to the Ephesians, tells us why Jesus is our Prince of Peace when he says:
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit (Eph 2: 13-22).
By having Jesus as our peace we have stability not only as individuals but also as a Church in order to live what Jesus rightly tells us in the Matthean Gospel: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven (Matt 5:16). Jesus remains the same, past, present and future. That is why, by believing in him, he the past, present and future of our existence, as Our Lady is telling us in her message! Let us not forget what the Letter to the Hebrew teaches us on this point: Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.
Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings; for it is well that the heart be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited their adherents (Heb 13:7-9).
And this grace, which is Christ’s peace, which comes to us from the crib of Bethlehem, is the same peace which the Risen Lord imparts on the disciples and, through them, to us as well! Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you (John 20:21). This peace wants to make us missionaries of Him who said: I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world (John 16:33). It is a peace that is not affected by the situations we are in, no matter how hard and difficult they might be. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27).
And this peace has been enfleshed in Jesus Christ, the little Jesus. And this magnificent act is, noneother than God’s visit to you and me, as the sons of Adam! Let us cherish this beautiful pericope by the Cistercian monk and Bishop St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159):
“By a wondrous condescension, an astonishing and unbelievable love, God came down into a body and in the flesh he visited the sons of Adam. (…) Therefore the Son of God was made the son of man. In unity of person he was God and man: God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the world began,; man of the substance of his mother, born in the world. So, a giant of twin substance, he rejoiced to sing with tuneful voice and sweet airs to the lyre of our body and on the organ made of our flesh, to send forth dulcet sounds to re-echo, as it were, with ineffable harmony, so that he raised up stones, moved trees, drew beasts, led forth on high men delivered from their flesh. For by the sweetness of his wonderful song he raised up from stones sons of Abraham and the trees of the wood, that is the hearts of the Gentiles, he moved to faith. Wild beasts also, that is fierce passions and savage barbarism, he tamed to good ways, and he set among the gods men drawn from among men. Well, therefore, did (…) songs echo to the ends of the earth.”
Lord Jesus, help me be a credible witness of your visit to us, sons and daughters of Adam, when you became one of us. Help me show to others, by the way I act, your wondrous condescension, astonishing and unbelievable love, you, who are God, who came down into a body and in the flesh to visit me, the son and daughter of Adam. Lord, do not let nothing that can ever extinguish my faith and hope in a better future. Help me be a joyful witness of hope in every situation. Bless me Lord Jesus with Your peace. Mary, Mother of Jesus and my Mother, intercede with me and for me. Amen!
Fr Mario Attard OFM Cap