“Dear children! May this time be interwoven with prayer for peace and good deeds, so that the joy of the expectation of the King of Peace may be felt in your hearts, families, and in the world which does not have hope. Thank you for having responded to my call.” -Our Lady of Medjugorje, in private revelation given to Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti, on November 25, 2023
“And His gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; so that we may no longer be children, tossed back and forth and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him Who is the head, into Christ, from Whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:11-16)
I have spoken to you about renewing your faith and your hope. Let us not get used to the miracles which are happening before our eyes, especially the wonderful fact that our Lord comes down each day into the priest’s hands. Jesus wants us to remain wide awake, so that we are convinced of His power and can hear once more His promise: “Follow Me and I will make you become fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19); you will be effective and attract souls to God. We should therefore trust our Lord’s words: get into the boat, take the oars, hoist the sails, and launch out into this sea of the world which Christ gives us as an inheritance. “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” (Luke 5:4)
The apostolic zeal which Christ has put in our hearts must not be diminished or extinguished by a false humility. Maybe we experience the dead weight of our personal failings, but our Lord takes into account our mistakes. In His merciful gaze, He realizes that we are creatures with limitations, weaknesses, and imperfections, that we are inclined to sin. But He tells us to fight, to acknowledge our weaknesses, not to be afraid, but to repent and foster a desire to improve.
We must also remember that we are only instruments. “What is Apollo? What is Paul? They are servants who brought the faith to you. Even the different ways in which they brought it were assigned to them by the Lord. I did the planting, Apollo the watering, but God gave the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3:4-6) The teaching, the message which we have to communicate, has in its own right an infinite effectiveness which comes not from us, but from Christ. It is God Himself Who is bent on bringing about salvation, on redeeming the world.
We must, then, have faith and not be dispirited. We must not be stopped by any kind of human calculation. To overcome the obstacles, we have to throw ourselves into the task so that the very effort we make will open up new paths. Personal holiness, giving oneself to God, is the one cure which overcomes any difficulty.
Being holy means living exactly as our Father in heaven wants us to live. You will say that it is difficult. It is. The ideal is a very high one. And yet it is also easy. It is within our reach. When a person becomes ill, there may be no appropriate medicine. But in supernatural affairs, it is not like that. The medicine is always at hand. It is Jesus Christ, present in the holy Eucharist, and He also gives us His grace in the other sacraments which He established.
Let us say again, in word and in action: “Lord, I trust in You; Your ordinary providence, Your help each day, is all I need.” We do not have to ask God to perform great miracles. Rather, we have to beg Him to increase our faith, to enlighten our intellect, and strengthen our will. Jesus always stays by our side and is always Himself.
“Oh, my Lord! In Your presence, I ought to feel nought but shame, and a deep sense of my utter worthlessness; but I also feel great love for You, a burning love, which in uniting me to You, consumes all the vileness of my poor heart; a love which purifies and transforms me, and takes me far away from this earth, to the purest of Hosts, the very abode of Love.” –Concepción Cabrera de Armida