The Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle
Dear Family of Mary!
Confession is one of the most important gifts given in Medjugorje. Our Lady invites us to her village, and she guides us through many experiences of prayer. But one of the most important moments for each individual is the Sacrament of Confession, received around the Church before Evening Mass. Confession in Medjugorje is like no other confession. It is only because Our Lady is there, giving us such peace and security that we can face the most difficult sins of our past. We can offer them to Jesus through the priest, and truly be freed and healed. It is incredible!
I want to share an entry from the book, “Give Me Your Wounded Heart” by Fr. Slavko Barbaric. This book is about Confession. And this small entry may help us all to turn again to Confession with renewed faith and desire. Confession is a miracle:
Your are called to Confession
On March 25, 1985, the Feast of the Annunciation, Our Lady gave this message through Marija Pavlovic:
Dear Children! Today I wish to call you all to confession, even if you have confessed a few days ago. I wish that you all experience my feast day within yourselves. But you cannot experience it unless you abandon yourselves completely to God. Therefore, I am inviting you all to reconciliation with God!
This is one of the most striking messages in which Our Lady invites us to confession. Viewed in relation to the Feast of the Annunciation, one more thing about confession is clear.
Mary is the New Eve. She said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done unto me according to Thy word” (Luke 1:38).
With these words of Mary, the handmaid of the Lord, a new world began.
The first woman, Eve, did not fulfill God’s plan in her life. She sinned and through sin man rejected God and His plans. Through sin, man preferred his own will, and rejected God’s will. Mary brought healing to a world which was hurt by the disobedience of our first parents. It was possible because Christ, the new Adam, accepted the will of the Father and entered the world to save the world. He entered the world through Mary, the one who was the humble and obedient handmaid of the Lord.
Therefore, the deepest meaning of the Feast of the Annunciation stems not just from the fact that Christ, the Word Divine, became man for us by His Incarnation in the womb of the Virgin Mary, but even more, that through Mary’s surrender to God’s will a new history of salvation began.
From this great mystery and the reality of the Incarnation, which was dependent upon Mary’s acceptance of the will of God, we discover the deep meaning of confession. Certainly it is no accident that Mary called us all to confession on her feast. This helps us to understand the question: What is confession?
Confession is the total and conscious acceptance of God’s will and the renunciation of the world which enslaves and destroys us. It is the acceptance of God’s salvation and light, peace, and love, and the renunciation of the world of darkness, hatred, and unrest.
Mary said, “You cannot experience a true celebration of this feast if you do not confess your sins.” It means that you cannot begin a new life if you are not prepared to tell God, “Here I am, Lord, ready to do your will.” It is God’s will for us to seek forgiveness for all those areas where we oppose Him and prefer our will to His, and where we are really closer to the old Eve than we are to Mary, the new eve. Therefore, confession is the moment when we return to a life without sin and begin to build a new world. It is the moment when we allow God to enter our lives again, when we put Him first in our lives once more. It is also the moment when the old man in us is renewed by the power of Christ’s Incarnation.
The more sincere we are in our confessions, and the more regularly we receive the sacrament, the closer we will come to celebrating the true spirit of the Annunciation which Mary, the Mother of all the living and the new Eve, refers to in her message. That celebration is a celebration of life, peace, joy, love, and true community between God and man, and men among themselves.
The closer we come to living what Mary is really leading us to in this message, the more we will renounce the destructive power of sin. We will become stronger when temptations arise, and we will have less fear and anxiety.
In this way we will enter into the glory of being children of God. This is why it is no accident that many pilgrims and priests in Medjugorje confirm that through the sacrament of Confession they have discovered the beauty and significance of the call to conversion, of returning to friendship between God and man.
Now the meaning of the ministry of reconciliation which has been given to priests becomes clearer in the eyes of both priests and believers. Surely, there is no ministry from one person to another more beautiful than the ministry of reconciliation. (Father Slavko Barbaric. Give Me Your Wounded Heart. Medjugorje: Informativni Centar Mir, 1996. P. 62-64)
Truly, Confession is the Sacrament of transformation! Our Lady provides so many graces for this transformation in Medjugorje! And by extension, all around the world!!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
(c)Mary TV 2022
P.S. I will send out the message for January 25, as soon as possible!