The December 29, 2020 Reflection – You have been called to be witnesses of hope!
You have been called to be witnesses of hope! December 29, 2020 Fifth Day in the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord Dear Family of Mary! “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.” (December 25, 2020 Message) Our Lady gave us this message on Christmas Day!! It is so beautiful and hopeful. Our shipmate, Stefanie, transcribed Archbishop Henryck Hoser’s homily given on Christmas Eve at St. James Church. (Thank you, Stefanie!!!) His words are very powerful and insightful. He diagnoses the sad state of our world today. But he gives us reason to hope. Read it carefully, and then read the message once again! You will see that Mother Mary was listening to him and then gave us even more reason to hope! The Nativity of the Lord Mass During the Night Christmas, December 24, 2020 Archbishop Henryk Hoser HOMILY The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Upon those who lived in the land of gloom, light is shown! You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing! Dear Brothers and Sisters, The beginning of the first reading of the prophet Isaiah introduces us to the mystery of the Holy Night that we are now celebrating. Night in the history of salvation has a rich varied meaning. In the Bible, night indicates a time of danger; the time of fear; the time of sadness. Night can also correspond with the feeling of the absence of God. In the face of the presence of death, in adverse circumstances, the night brings visions and dreams, guidelines, something that is transmitting the Word of God. The author of the apocalypse, St. John, assures us that in the new time, in the time of the New Jerusalem, there will be no more night, because God will be together with His people. No night. According to the old Biblical tradition, there were four major nights in the history of the world: the night of the Creation of Light; the Night of Abraham, who believed against all hope; the Night of the Exodus from Egyptian slavery; the Night of Bethlehem – the most important; because it is the night of the birth of the Son of God, among us, and for us. The Night of the Resurrection will come again, also full of light and full of joy. So, we entered in Bethlehem in the middle of the night of our present life; everything seems asleep, paralyzed. Life is flowing slowly. Health restrictions have slowed down social and economic activity, immobilizing everyone. We can see this in Medjugorje as well. Medjugorje is an illustration of this. Medjugorje has always been filled with life, always echoing joyfully in various languages, always on the move. Our locality as a place of pilgrimage and of service still lives today. But it lives now, thanks to the faith and the hope of its inhabitants, the parishioners. Wherever darkness is present in this world, we can see many Christian countries that were Christian for centuries, have become now the pagan countries or rather neo-pagan countries, without faith, without morality. Churches in those countries are empty. Churches are being sold and turned into restaurants or night clubs. Very often, these would then be demolished. What is worse still, is that the destruction of the family progresses. Demoralization of youth increases. Life is not respected. There are many who are perhaps disturbed, who are weak, sinful, unproductive; they eliminate themselves from society, with euthanasia or abortion techniques. In our daily, personal, and family life, there is less and less peace. Social conflicts begin to dominate in rich countries. Terrorism paralyzes and threatens the life of poor countries, where killing innocent people is becoming common and banal. Local wars flourish on every continent and the world spends billions on armaments and means of mass destruction. This is the Night of the Light. The Lord has been through that Night. He has been through that Night in this world. During the Last Supper when Judas left the room to betray Jesus and hand him over to the executioner, it was dark; noted by John the Evangelist who witnessed this tragic moment. It was night. That same Night, in the Garden of Olives, Jesus was sweating blood and He was able to see the sins of the world from the beginning to the end. When Jesus was dying on the Cross, it was already around the 6th hour which was the moment when the darkness over the whole earth occurred until the 9th hour. Jesus knows our darkness. He knows our pain. He knows our suffering. But Jesus’ birth, as St. Paul says, was indeed the Grace of God which appeared. The Grace of God appeared saving us all! Training us to reject God-less ways and worldly desires, and to live temperately, justly, devoutly in this age, as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the Glory of the Great God and of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself to deliver us and all people from lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people who will be ready to do good deeds. Christmas Carols are so beautiful. Most of all, they mark the Night of the Birth of the Holy Lord in Bethlehem. All over the world we sing: Silent Night, Holy Night! All is calm, all is bright. Round yon Virgin Mother and Child, Holy Infant so tender and mild. Sleep in heavenly peace! Sleep in heavenly peace. The angel rushed to the shepherds, and shepherds were minding their sheep under the open sky. And he told them, “Do not be afraid. Behold! I am sending you good news for all people! Today in the City of David, a Savior is born to you who is Christ the Lord.” Who were the shepherds? They were the poorest, the simplest, anonymous, marginalized by others, who consider themselves superior. But it is precisely they who had the privilege of hearing the Good News first. God is among us. He is near. He is humble. He is a child. Therefore, He depends on us and He seeks the manger within our heart. A celestial choir of angels had just appeared, praising God, and singing: Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth, Peace to Men of Good Will! Later would come the others, the members of high society, those who were kings, those who were wise men, of this world; however, they recognized the supremacy of this King Child, of this Prince of Peace, of this Savior of the World; who was in the arms of His Immaculate Mother, the Queen of Peace; our Mother in Medjugorje! Let us follow them. Let us live in the light again and honor this Child who saves the world, who wishes to shine His light in us, to shine in our country, in our home, in our heart. And may Peace be with you! Amen. Thank you, Archbishop Hoser and Dear Mother Mary! We will believe and hope and trust and shine like lights in this difficult time. You have encouraged us! In Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Cathy Nolan (c)Mary TV 2020 P.S. Two more days for the Matching Grant!! Go to Mary TV and help us finish the year strong! www.marytv.tv