Daily Reflections
by Cathy

August 6, 2021 Reflection – Medjugorje Youth Festival, Day 6

Holy Mass for the Transfiguration on Cross Mountain- August 6, 2021

August 6, 2021
Day 6 of the Youth Festival
Mass of the Transfiguration on Cross Mountain!

Dear Family of Mary!

As I write to you all, I am watching and praying, live, with the parish on Cross Mountain, at 5 in the morning! It is the Transfiguration and the last day of the Youth Festival. After 5 days of teachings and prayer, we celebrate together at the Cross, thanking Jesus and Mary for their presence and love for us!! It is a huge grace to be able to attend this mass from my home so far away!! Thank you Jesus and Mary for providing such a beautiful connection to Medjugorje! This Youth Festival has been life changing!! We all have been able to partake of the graces either in Medjugorje of thousands of miles away, through Mary TV! Thank you Jesus and Mary!

As a parting gift, we have transcribed Jakov Colo’s testimony given yesterday at the festival. You can read and pray over it this weekend!!

In Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
Mary TV 2021

Jakov Colo’s testimony for the 32 Youth Festival in Medjugorje!

Fr. Marinko introduced Jakov’s testimony this way:

Forty years ago, this man was a little boy. He was 10 years old. And now he has a family, a wife, Analisa, and three children. He is the one who experienced Our Lady’s love. He had the great grace to see Our Lady! Several years ago he started an organization called “Mary’s Hands.” A movement that now is comprised of many volunteers. It is Jakov Colo, our visionary!

Jakov Colo shared from his heart:

First of all, sincerely, from my heart I greet you all! And I would like to begin with Our Lady’s words, words that Our Lady has said to us often here in Medjugorje. “Thank you for having responded to my call.” How beautiful it is again to see so many young people here in Medjugorje. I know that today you could have been in many other places. Maybe some of you were also planning other summer vacations. But when God calls you, when Our Lady calls you, it is simply impossible to say “no”.

And particularly because of that, you are here in Medjugorje today. Because God wanted you to be here. Because Our Lady called you.

First we must say to Our Lord, a simple word, so simple, and that is the word “Thank you!” Thank you, Lord, for all of these forty years. Thank you, Lord, for permitting Your Mother to be here with us. Because in this we also recognize how great God’s love is for us. God sends us His Mother for forty years! And how great is Our Lady’s love for each one of us. Let us only look and see how many times Our Lady said in her messages, “Dear children!” In one message she said, “If you knew how much I love you, you would cry with joy!” Have you ever cried from joy for the love of Our Lady? Have you experienced that joy of the presence of Our Lord in your hearts? You are here now in Medjugorje, and I sincerely desire for you to experience this and to bring it back to your homes.

Fr. Marinko said that I was a child then. I was ten years old. And I can say that I had the most beautiful childhood. A childhood spent with Our Lady. With Our Lady I came to a great gift. Our Lady brought me to that gift. That gift is to come to know Jesus Christ. It is a great gift. And that is why Our Lady is coming here, to lead us to Jesus Christ. To show us the way, to lead us to Jesus!

Our Lady before all, is a mother. I remember in the first days of the apparitions when I would only look at these most beautiful eyes of Our Lady, when I saw such great love in those eyes, and at the same time I felt in my heart that love. Immediately, in that same moment I experienced Our Lady as a mother. I accepted her as my own mother. And I came to love her as my own mother. Our Lady has been a mother to me my entire life.

I know that many of you have so many difficulties in your lives. And I would say to you, never be afraid of difficulties. Let us never be afraid of falls that happen in our lives. I personally can say to you, if you have God in your lives, even in the difficulties and crosses that we carry, God is always there to help us.

I can give you a personal example of how God watches over us always. When I was ten years old, I had my first apparition. After a short while, I lost my mother. After that I lost my dad. But I had another father. I had another mother who was always present along side me. And in those difficult moments, you feel that God and Mary are placing their hands on your shoulders and saying, “You are not alone, do not be afraid. I am with you. I love you. I am your mother. I am your father. And in this way, God prepares all of us. And that is why again I repeat to you, do not be afraid. We need fear nothing! Because if we have God in our lives, we have everything.

So often in my life, I have seen so many witnesses, so many trips around the world. All that is beautiful, and perhaps it is most easy to come here and to speak. I wanted to be an example, even though I have not always been a good example. Don’t think that visionaries are holy. I had falls in my life. I had difficulties. But God was always there. And for this I thank Him immeasurably. He helped me get up and move forward.

Maybe also I will have other falls in my life. But God will always be present to give me a hand, to raise me up so I can continue on. But then a time comes when you think, is it enough only to witness? Is it enough to witness with your life? We may ask ourselves; do I really witness well with my life? Am I a good example?

I thought about that. As I said, after a more difficult time in my life, after a cross that I had that served to make me think about things in my life. I had to find out how to go on. In what other way could I do something for God? And I thank God because I am aware that I received a great gift from Him, and I will never be able to thank God for everything.

An idea was born. As Fr. Marinko mentioned, I founded… (but it was all Fr. Marinko’s doing. Without Fr. Marinko I would not be able to be where I am today)! I spoke with Fr. Marinko and Fr. Marinko said, “You have had other plans, but they were not God’s plan…” And I remember the day when Fr. Marinko brought me into a small hut here in the parish courtyard, and said, “This is now your office, and I would like for this to become the Office for the Needy.” At that moment, I understood. That was the answer to my question of how I should go on. At the same moment I understood that God was giving me a new grace. From now on I could also witness with my hands. I could extend my hands, first of all towards God, towards Our Lady, and then towards every person who is in need.

Then the office was called, “The Office for the Needy”. This was 2013. The first two years I was alone in that office. The Needy came from various parts of the parish. For me the most difficult was to listen to their difficult life stories. Through these difficult life stories, I started to accuse myself. I asked myself, “Where were you all this time?” Maybe I hadn’t even recognized that there was a need. But the more I visited these people, the more I came to know this reality. I understood one thing. In helping others, you are helping yourself.

Then you can understand many things. And when first say help, we are human beings, and we always think about material things. But the first thing we need to give to every person, especially the poor, is our love for them. That they are loved that they are not alone, that they are not forgotten. That somebody is caring for them. That they are important for someone.

I remember the first time when I came into a family for my first visit to them. I said, “Oh God, Lord help me! Because every person has his dignity. And you don’t know how this person is going to receive this. And when the doors were opened, a woman came. She didn’t say anything. She only embraced me and started to cry. And that was an important moment that gave me the strength to go on. Because I understood that it was at this moment, I started to live a real Christian life.

I suppose it was easy to say, “I am a Christian, I go to Holy Mass, I pray.” But I firmly believe that faith without works is not faith. We have to be Christians who work. How often do we forget that we have neighbors in need? Perhaps they are not in need of material goods. Sometimes maybe even just a smile or an embrace, a conversation, a prayer with them can help a lot. And it doesn’t cost us anything.

In 2016, I founded the humanitarian association with Fr. Marinko, called “Mary’s Hands”. I am very proud of that name. Let’s look at Medjugorje. Forty years Our Lady has been extending her hands to us. Saying to us, “Come, my children, to me that I may lead you to Jesus. And now we have the opportunity to be the extended hands of Mary and Jesus first of all, and then to all those who are asking for help from us. At this moment we care for about 600 families. And what is beautiful, is that when I thought I would not be able to go on, I was alone. I surrendered everything into God’s hands, and I said, “Lord, You take care of it, if this is your plan. You take care of it. And slowly young people started to come.

Today there are about sixty of us who are volunteers, mostly young people from the surrounding area. How beautiful it is to see a young man who goes to someone, to repair or clean a house, to visit someone, to drive someone to the hospital who needs doctor’s care. When he comes back with everything that he has done, I see that person, happy!!

When I look at this world today. Especially the youth who have everything offered to them… often the world offers us things that lead us to destruction. It does not offer to us what is most important. Which is God! But if you have God in your heart, you will always recognize where the need is. And that is why I am so grateful to the Lord for all of my volunteers.

As I said, we care for 600 families. What does our association help with. I must say we help with everything. Every month we share about 600 packages of food. We have rebuilt many homes. We help people to purchase their medicine they can’t afford. We help people in their medical care. People don’t have homes, so we pay for their rent. Everything that people need. Clothing, furniture. but what is most important: everybody is welcome in our office, whether Catholic or not. Because of that I am very happy.

When people come who are not Catholic, through our example we show them what it means to be Catholic. What it truly means to live the Catholic faith. We desire to work even more. One project began a month ago, and I hope it will be finished in another month and a half. It will be a soup kitchen in a nearby area where we will be able to give 200 meals a day. Also brought to their homes.

Sometimes we forget how much we have. Sometimes we even ask God for more. Let us ask ourselves how much do we thank God for little things. Do you really thank God for that piece of bread that every day we can share with our family. Because from my own experience and example, I can share with you, as Fr. Marinko said: “I have three children, they have somebody who loves them, will embrace them, who will kiss them. But on the other side there are many children who suffer, many children who have never even felt love, and what it means to be loved. There are so many examples that I could share with you. But that is not necessary, because what I would call you to is what is most important.

Often times we judge someone. Often times when we meet someone homeless, we meet a drug addict, an addict on drugs, alcohol, whatever. We look at this one, “drinking!” Who are we to judge? Have you been under his skin? Have you lived his life and what he has had in his life? When we meet someone who is sleeping on the street. Oftentimes we just pass by. And we look at the person with some kind of a despising look. Sometimes we give a little coin to appease our conscience.  But that is not faith. Let us stop by that man. Let us ask him, “How are you?” Let us embrace him. And it will be difficult for us. If we are truly Christians as many of us say that we are, and in every person, we need to recognize Jesus Christ. And particularly in that embrace we are embracing Jesus Christ. And perhaps that is the most important for that person then for us to give him that one coin or even to do much more for him materially.

So when you return back to your homes, look around you. Is someone in need? Does he need your smile? Does he need your conversation? Bring it with you from Medjugorje. And in the end, I would say to you: often times when pilgrims from back from Medjugorje they carry so many souvenirs, so many rosaries, so many crucifixes, and all that is beautiful. It’s beautiful to bring some kind of a memory from Medjugorje.  But the most important souvenir of Medjugorje to bring ­ it costs us nothing. It’s free. We don’t even need luggage to carry it. We only need our hearts. That is Our Lady’s messages. That is prayer, conversion, peace, penance, fasting and Holy Mass. If we carry this from Medjugorje, we have placed this into our lives. And we’ve understood what Medjugorje is.

This is not important when you come into your homes, to shout with all your strength that we were in Medjugorje at the youth festival, and it was good. But let us show it in our example, with our life that others can recognize that spirit of Medjugorje in us. That they can recognize how God works through us. And I will pray for all of you. For all of your needs; for all of your intentions; for all the sick. And I also ask you ­ because people often ask me how can we help you … for us volunteers most important is prayer. Because without prayer we couldn’t do any of this. That is why also every Monday we have a prayer meeting where we ask God to give us all the more love, all the more strength, to be able to do what we need to do.  That is why I also ask of you, please pray for us. Pray for Mary’s Hands. May these hands always be extended and with an open heart. Thank you very much!”

(Jakov Colo, testimony for Youth Festival 2021)

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