Do not be afraid!
August 29, 2023
The Passion of St. John the Baptist
Dear Family of Mary!
Today we honor St. John the Baptist, who was killed by Herod at at a banquet of the powerful and rich who surrounded him. St. John the Baptist is a key personage in the New Testament. He encountered Christ when yet in his mother’s womb. He was filled with the Holy Spirit from that moment. He became a hermit and a prophet, dwelling in the desert and calling the people to repentance because the Kingdom of God was at hand. John pointed to Jesus as the Christ, and grew less as Jesus grew great! He remained faithful during his imprisonment and died a martyr.
And it was on the Feast Day of the Birth of St. John the Baptist that Our Lady first appeared in Medjugorje. She appeared far up the hill of Podbrdo, and beckoned to the children who saw her. They ran away. But she did not give up, and returned the next day, June 25, 1981, to begin her work through the 6 visionaries. Our Lady chose June 24 as the first day to appear, because she wanted to associate her work in Medjugorje to St. John’s prophetic role in Jesus’ day. She came to prepare the way for Jesus to return! Just as John prepared the way for Jesus’s first coming.
And so we honor St. John the Baptist today. We need his prayers and intercession. We need his example of courage and trust in God. Preparing the way for Jesus always entails suffering and self-denial. St. John, please pray for us not to give in to fear. Pray for us to be ready to stand for the truth at all times, and to pray with Our Lady for peace!
Here are five messages in which Our Lady has told us, “Do not be afraid…” She wants us to stand with her, to testify to Jesus, to love and care for souls, even when it is difficult. We can do it, just like St. John the Baptist! Our Lady is with us to help us.
Let these messages strengthen our resolve, our courage and our love for God:
September 25, 2001
“Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer, especially today when satan wants war and hatred. I call you anew, little children: pray and fast that God may give you peace. Witness peace to every heart and be carriers of peace in this world without peace. I am with you and intercede before God for each of you. And you do not be afraid because the one who prays is not afraid of evil and has no hatred in the heart… Thank you for having responded to my call.”
September 2, 2007
“Dear children, In this time of God’s signs, do not be afraid because I am with you. The great love of God sends me to lead you to salvation. Give me your simple hearts, purified by fasting and prayer. Only in the simplicity of your hearts is your salvation. I will be with you and lead you. Thank you.”
May 2, 2008 (Mirjana)
“Dear children, By God’s will I am here with you in this place. I desire that you open your hearts to me and to accept me as a mother. With my love I will teach you simplicity of life and richness of mercy and I will lead you to my Son. The way to Him can be difficult and painful but do not be afraid, I will be with you. My hands will hold you to the very end, to eternal happiness; therefore do not be afraid to open yourselves to me. Thank you. Pray for priests. My Son gave them to you as a gift…”
December 25, 2018 (Jakov)
“Dear children, on this day of grace, I am calling you to love. Little children, God loves you immeasurably and that is why, little children, full of trust and without looking back and without fear, completely surrender your hearts to Him so that God may fill them with His love. Do not be afraid to believe in His love and mercy, because His love is stronger than every one of your weaknesses and fears. Therefore, my children, full of love in your hearts, trust in Jesus and say your ‘yes’ to Him, because He is the only way which leads you to the Eternal Father.”
March 18, 2018 (Mirjana)
“Dear children! I am with you in the name of the greatest Love, in the name of dear God, who has come close to you through my Son and has shown you real love. I desire to lead you on the way of God. I desire to teach you real love so that others may see it in you, that you may see it in others, that you may be a brother to them and that others may see a merciful brother in you. My children do not be afraid to open your hearts to me. With motherly love, I will show you what I expect of each of you, what I expect of my apostles. Set out with me. Thank you.”
Dearest Mother Mary, we long to be courageous and faith-filled like St. John the Baptist. Please don’t let go of our hands. With you we can be brave. Ask St. John the Baptist to pray for us as well, so that we can witness to your Son, Jesus!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!