By God’s will I am here with you in this place.
July 10, 2023
Dear Family of Mary!
In the first reading for today at Mass, Jacob encounters the Lord at a shrine that he came upon on his journey. God used that place, that shrine, as a place to meet Jacob and bless him. Here is the encounter:
Jacob departed from Beer-sheba and proceeded toward Haran. When he came upon a certain shrine, as the sun had already set, he stopped there for the night. Taking one of the stones at the shrine, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep at that spot. Then he had a dream: a stairway rested on the ground, with its top reaching to the heavens; and God’s messengers were going up and down on it.
And there was the Lord standing beside him and saying: “I, the Lord, am the God of your forefather Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you are lying I will give to you and your descendants. These shall be as plentiful as the dust of the earth, and through them you shall spread out east and west, north and south. In you and your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing. Know that I am with you; I will protect you wherever you go, and bring you back to this land. I will never leave you until I have done what I promised you.”
When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he exclaimed, “Truly, the Lord is in this spot, although I did not know it!” In solemn wonder he cried out: “How awesome is this shrine! This is nothing else but an abode of God, and that is the gateway to heaven!” Early the next morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head, set it up as a memorial stone, and poured oil on top of it. He called the site Bethel, whereas the former name of the town had been Luz.
Jacob then made this vow: “If God remains with me, to protect me on this journey I am making and to give me enough bread to eat and clothing to wear, and I come back safe to my father’s house, the Lord shall be my God. This stone that I have set up as a memorial stone shall be God’s abode.” (Genesis 28:10-22a)
God used that shrine, that spot on earth, to reveal Himself to Jacob and declare His plan for Jacob’s life. Jacob was changed by that encounter. God established His covenant with Jacob, who would be the father now of the Jewish people.
God uses places. He is concrete with us! We are humans with bodies and souls. We are concrete as well. God knows we need to be attached to Him in the concreteness of our lives! And so He chose Bethel as a place of encounter with Jacob.
I believe that the Lord has chosen a concrete place of encounter for us in our day. He has sent Our Lady to this concrete place in order to communicate to the people of our day His concrete plan for humanity! That plan has everything to do with Our Lady! She has come to lead us all back to God and to rescue us from the plans of Satan. Medjugorje is the shrine that God has chosen for this moment in time. It is here that we can encounter the Lord through Our Lady’s presence, and through the Sacraments that are so beautifully provided for us through the parish. Medjugorje is our Bethel!
Our Lady said to us:
May 2, 2008 “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…”
February 25, 1995 “Dear children! Today I invite you to become missionaries of my messages, which I am giving here through this place that is dear to me. God has allowed me to stay this long with you and therefore, little children, I invite you to live with love the messages I give and to transmit them to the whole world, so that a river of love flows to people who are full of hatred and without peace. I invite you, little children, to become peace where there is no peace and light where there is darkness, so that each heart accepts the light and the way of salvation. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Our Lady has been sent to “this place” by God! She is with us in Medjugorje to rescue us and bring us all to heaven, to eternal happiness. May we respond as Jacob did and acknowledge that the Lord is truly in this place, with His Mother!!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!