“…My motherly desire is for all of my children to be united in love for Jesus. Therefore, I am calling you, my apostles, to live the Eucharist with joy, because in the Eucharist my Son gives Himself to you anew and with His example shows the love and sacrifice towards the neighbor. Thank you.” (April 2, 2015)
Today I want to share an astounding testimony given by a newly ordained Priest from Ireland in Medjugorje!!
It’s a great joy to be here with you all in this beautiful place. My name is Fr. Michael Donnelly. I’m originally from Armagh, Ireland. And I am part of a religious community called “The Missionaries of the Most Holy Eucharist”. And I am just six weeks newly ordained a priest by the mercy of God.
So just briefly what I would like to share with you today is really a short testimony. My vocation is a fruit of this place, Medjugorje. It was in 2011 that I first came here. I came here with my mother and my brother. I was very much someone who was searching. I knew very little about our Catholic faith. I had been going to Mass every Sunday, but I didn’t understand the Mass or the Catholic faith.
I came to Medjugorje here, and I had a real powerful encounter with Christ. It was a most beautiful encounter and I know that the Blessed Mother Mary, she took me here along with my brother as well, who had a powerful encounter with the Lord. It was the 19th of August. I remember it was so intense. I was sitting just over there, the 19th of August at 20 past 10:00, on a Friday. The priest was giving his homily. And just whatever he said, and for everything I heard and the people I met…I was so aware of God and His presence. The Holy Spirit penetrated to the very depths of my heart. It was so, so intense.
And what came from this was my Eucharistic Faith. From that moment I had the knowledge that Jesus Christ was truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. Something that I never knew. I couldn’t remember in my heart any time when I truly knew that it was Jesus Christ truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. The Living God!
And also our Blessed Mother Mary as well. I got a relationship with her. Because when I came here I was praying to her but I couldn’t understand why one woman was being given so much veneration as was given to our Blessed Mother Mary. It was in that moment I just knew that she is the Mother of God and she’s my mother.
The first thing I did was go over to the statue after Mass, and I apologized to our Blessed Mother and I said, “Mother, please, help me to love you the way you want me to love you.”
So when I left Medjugorje I felt the Lord call me very strongly to be a priest. But before I came to Medjugorje I had just been engaged a month before. But after I came to Medjugorje, two weeks later the engagement was off.
When I knew that Jesus was present in the Blessed Sacrament, I liked to go to Mass every day and receive the Divine Flesh, the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ into my heart, every day. At Mass I could go and listen to the Word of God, Every day. I could go spend time with Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration every day. My whole life was changed.
And the Lord has drawn me ever deeper into His Eucharistic Heart. That is what we all long for. We all long for Jesus. Our faith is a Eucharistic faith. It is the faith that we get at Baptism. But it needs to be nourished. We need to spend time with Jesus. It is only Jesus who will satisfy us. You know, it says “All those who ate were satisfied.” It is only Jesus in the Holy Eucharist who will satisfy us.
When we received the Eucharist it calls us into that sacrificial love. We live no longer for ourselves but for Christ. It is only through the Eucharist that we are able to live the heroic virtues of Charity. Of loving our enemies. Forgiving those who have hurt us. To love those who cause suffering upon us. To live the life of chastity. Only through the Eucharist. To have patience in times of suffering and difficulty. Only through the Eucharist.
St. John Paul the Great said we must be a Eucharistic soul to be an authentic Christian. We must be a Eucharistic soul to be an authentic Christian. That’s what we need because our souls thirst for Jesus. Our hearts long for Jesus. We yearn for the greatest gift that Divine Mercy has given us, Jesus in the Eucharist.
And that is why we turn to our Blessed Mother Mary and we consecrate ourselves to our Blessed Mother Mary, we give our hearts to her. And she gives us her heart, her desires. Her desire is only for Jesus to be loved above all things. Can you imagine the hunger of our Blessed Mother Mary’s heart for Jesus in Holy Communion?
In a few moments Almighty God will be made present here. His Sacred Heart truly beating in a most beautiful and mysterious way. Beating out of love for each one of us. Trembling with love. Trembling with love. Just to come into our hearts to receive that love that we have, the gratitude for the greatest gift that God has given us Himself, His divine Flesh.
That is what we do with our Blessed Mother Mary. And we have to prepare ourselves well for God’s greatest gift. And that is another gift of Medjugorje, Confessions! We go to confession to give the Lord everything. All our sins, all our weaknesses, all our hurts. We go there to receive His love, His mercy, His grace, His transforming grace. To heal us and to help us to grow, and live for Jesus and to prepare well to receive the greatest gift. So then we will be truly transformed and give ourselves to Christ and be truly authentic Christians.
That is what is lacking in the world today. To be an authentic Christian is a Eucharistic soul, which means we are called to love. As Jesus says in John 13:35. “They will know that you are my disciples by the love you have for one another.” We are called to love. Sacrificial love.
So we just pray now to our Blessed Mother Mary that she will take complete possession of our hearts and prepare us well always to receive this greatest Gift and draw us ever deeper into the Heart of her Son Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. And that we will have a heart full of love, deep gratitude, and just give ourselves to the Lord.
And when we go back then to where we live we will seek the Lord, seek where He is. Seek His presence continually, just to be with His presence, just to be there in His presence. To increase our faith and our love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Because Our Lady always draws the faithful to the Eucharist.
Let that be the measure of our pilgrimage here to Medjugorje when we go back. How close am I getting to Jesus in the Eucharist? Do I spend more time with Jesus? Am I getting closer to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament? Is the desire of my heart increasing for Jesus in the Eucharist? Do I long for Him in Holy Communion? Let that be the measure of our pilgrimage here in Medjugorje.
I would just like to thank you for your prayers because the fruit of conversion is a fruit of much prayer. And I know I received a lot of prayer. And so I just thank you very much, and may God bless you all, and all those you hold in your heart. Amen