Behold I am sending my messenger…
December 15, 2022
Dear Family of Mary!
Today we hear a bit more about St. John the Baptist in our Gospel. Jesus speaks about John and his role in God’s plan:
When the messengers of John the Baptist had left, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John. “What did you go out to the desert to see—a reed swayed by the wind? Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine garments? Those who dress luxuriously and live sumptuously are found in royal palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom Scripture says: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,/ he will prepare your way before you. (Luke 7:24-27)
Jesus draws attention to John, making it clear that John is different than other men. They all know that John lived in the desert, fasting and living an austere life style. He was different from all of them, not married, no trade, only his prophetic voice in the wilderness. Jesus says in fact: “This is the one about whom Scripture says: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, he will prepare your way before you.”
That is why it has intrigued me from the very beginning of the apparitions, that Our Lady chose June 24th as the day she would first appear in Medjugorje. Here is what is recorded in the messages about it:
Wednesday, June 24, 1981
The visionaries see a distant apparition of a young woman in a long grey dress holding a baby in her arms on the hill of Crnica (now known as Apparition Hill). The first time was in the afternoon, the second time towards 6:00pm.
Our Lady came on John’s Feast Day (June 24), she didn’t speak, and she was holding baby Jesus. She almost seems timid to me. Waiting for the response of the children, who of course, run away!!
I am sure the Lord ordained that Our Lady would begin her apparitions in Medjugorje on June 24. He wanted to show that Our Lady was continuing the prophetic work of St. John the Baptist. That is powerful indeed!
But today as I was reading a beautiful meditation by Cardinal Danielou in the Magnificat about John the Baptist, I perceived something more personal about it. I somehow saw the close relationship between Our Lady and St. John the Baptist as family. She must have loved St. John! And it hit me that maybe Our Lady was a little bit shy about beginning this encounter with the children, and about what God was going to accomplish through her. Maybe she found comfort in having St. John the Baptist with her somehow on his feast day. Maybe John was a strength for her as she began this huge effort to save her children, and prepare the way for her Son to return! After all, she was related to him, and she was there when Jesus anointed him with the Holy Spirit, before he was born!! This is the human side of the story!!
Anyway, we can’t forget that Jesus said: “This is the one about whom Scripture says: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,/ he will prepare your way before you.” John went before Jesus the first time, and now he has been called upon to go before Him, through and with Our Lady this last time. I believe that Our Lady is preparing the way of the Lord, who will come to judge His people in this day!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
PS. Today St. James Parish begins the Christmas Novena in which they climb Apparition Hill every day for 9 days, praying the Rosary, in honor of Jesus’ Birth! Mary TV will stream this Novena climb each day, at 2:00 pm Medjugorje time! Join us!!