The only word is “Wow”
July 2, 2021
Dear Family of Mary!
Denis and I are home, safe and sound, after 10 days of heaven in Medjugorje! The 40th Anniversary was a gigantic moment of grace!!! We all felt it, those of us there at St. James Church, and those of us there at St. James Church via Mary TV!
As Fr. Shawn Roberson put it, “You know, if I had one word to describe this past week in my experience here, the only word that comes to mind is, Wow! I mean, utterly amazing! ” And I agree!! Wow!!
Our shipmate, Stefanie transcribed the homily that Fr. Shawn gave on June 27, 2021 at English Mass in Medjugorje. Fr. Shawn was so filled with the Holy Spirit during the 40th Anniversary, that he couldn’t hide it!! His words are life giving! So, thank you Stefanie! Here is the homily:
English Mass Homily for June 27, 2021, Medjugorje, given by Fr. Shawn Roberson:
Well, Good Morning!
You know, if I had one word to describe this past week in my experience here, the only word that comes to mind is, Wow! I mean, utterly amazing!
I come from Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, and we’re not short on big events. We do have big events there; but nothing like what took place on this Friday. I was so taken aback and left in awe! To be concelebrating and be in procession with 350 plus priests around the whole perimeter, being followed by that beautiful statue of Our Lady of Medjugorje… It was so incredible, so moving that it defies description.
In one way, I’ve come to sympathize with even the visionaries here. If you walked up to them and said, “What’s it like to have Mary appearing to you?” There aren’t really words, probably, for them to describe it. This is a place where words fall short.
And we encounter this moment as something special that we have been called to. And I know that in my heart. I was! We were, supposed to come last year in June. And we all know what happened. And we end up here for the 40th Anniversary of this incredible time.
And, as we were coming to the Consecration and we heard every priest there pronouncing the Consecration in their own language, it came to me, then and there: This is the New Pentecost! This Is the New Pentecost! Medjugorje – orchestrated by Mary, Spouse of the Spirit – is the New Pentecost! The place where the outpouring of the Holy Spirit coming through Her Intercession and the Presence of Jesus Christ is poured upon His People!
And it is something to behold! We are in, truly in, a historical moment! And isn’t it beautiful? Isn’t It Beautiful?!
And, you know, I came to this land to see and witness such beauty, not merely in the phenomenon that’s going on, but the way that the people here have been affected, the beauty in them. Because all of us coming from English-speaking countries – and I can only speak from my own, which is the USA – we live in a very secular world; huh? A very secular world that has closed itself off to God. Where God can be put into four walls – you do your thing and leave the rest of us alone – that’s pretty much the creed of the United States. That’s pretty much where we come from. And it’s seemingly a cold place.
What is the outcome of that secular world that we live in? What has become of it? St. John Paul II, in his prophetic wisdom, said, “We will be living, we are living and will be living in a time where this will be the Culture of Death.” We live in the Culture of Death. We live in a country and in a culture that has enshrined “death.”
Right? And where does that come from? Death didn’t come from God; God didn’t want death. We’re told in the first reading. It comes from the envy of the devil for the Word of God. It comes from the envy of the devil and all those who belong to his party will find that out. What a terrible statement. And what is that Culture of Death, but Pro-Abortion, Pro-Euthanasia, and other things that lead us down the path of death.
I was in Jamaica, Montego Bay, a few years ago, with a mission from Franciscan University – we had a beautiful mission. I was talking to a doctor there in Montego Bay. And we got into a conversation of just about, basically this, and he said to me, “Father, I was four years in residency before I even saw an attempted suicide.” They have an incredibly low suicide rate in Jamaica. I was stunned by that. I said, “We got young people dying by suicide in legions in my country.” And we talked about that and what it meant and what it came to. You know, Jamaica was always a very hospitable, welcoming place; you can walk into a store there and talk about Jesus and they’d be happy. You don’t do that in America.
But that’s not the way God wants it. Every step that Jesus Christ took – every step He took – brought life. This poor woman is bleeding for years, going to every doctor, clinic, whatever is at that time, to get healed; and nothing is working. All she does is touch the fringe of Jesus, and the cusp of death that she always lived on, is gone. Let alone the story that follows that, of the little girl.
Jesus doesn’t want His young people dying, especially by their own hand; whether that’s suicide directly, or that’s drug addiction and overdose. And our secular world has built a shrine around death. And what do we bring to that? We bring the life that God has given us, the Life that God has brought us to, that cherishes Life, that cherishes the Will of God, that cherishes Love.
The devil is at work in that culture. He’s telling young people, “You’re worthless. Your life is worthless. You can’t have Hope.” He’s sowing seeds of doubt, despair, hopelessness, in their lives, and they have nowhere to turn. And there it is. And this is the critical need for Evangelization. And there is a great hungering out there. There is a Great Hungering!
And you don’t hear anything about this on the main-stream media, huh? of the Pandemic of Suicide, the Pandemic of Death. Oh, we’ll hear about the pandemic we all know about, night after night, and sowing these seeds of fear. But we don’t hear about what’s really at the heart of the problem; because it’s a core issue for a secular world that they have no answer to. But Our Lady has appeared in Medjugorje with the answer. She has appeared with The Answer!
And I don’t want to say there aren’t Pockets of Goodness, because I – as I say – I am at Franciscan University of Steubenville – there is incredible Hope; what I see in the young people. This past year, we have daily mass and we are having five daily masses because we have to spread things out – but there have been seven to eight hundred at daily mass. Have you ever gone to a daily mass, can you imagine going to a mass at 6:30 am and seeing 150 to 200 young people, college students, there? There’s Hope folks! Thank you, Jesus, is right! It’s amazing!
But we also have our work to do. We have to be the witnesses that the Lord has called us; to the Goodness of Life; to the recognition that Jesus Christ loves us; He has designed us to have worth, to have purpose in this world; and to work for our salvation and the salvation of others.
And in a way, we do that chiefly by our witness, by what we have gotten here in Medjugorje. Our lives have been changed. You may be sitting there saying, “Well, I really don’t’ feel it.” But that’s okay; because it has. Your life has been changed by being here.
And, you know, as we raise a question – we are all going to get ready to go, Lord knows I’m going to go into withdrawal when I get back; you’ll see me with the earphones listening to the Croatian Rosary, night after night – but we go back with something. We’re not just going back with externals. We’re not going back with the gifts we bought. We’re not going back even with the experiences and the memories we have.
We’re going back with something that Our Lady has done here. She’s imprinted the Image of Her Son on our hearts. She’s imprinted the Image of Love (holding his hand to his heart) right here – that we come to know our worth; that we come to know how we look in the Eyes of the Living God; that we come to know who we are by His Plan and His Design. We have been called here to Medjugorje in this time to receive. And what we have all received is the imprint on our hearts.
And as we go forth, we are called, by Our Lady, to “guard our hearts.” That’s a saying among the young ladies at Steubenville; they talk about guarding your hearts emotionally from, you know, getting over-involved with guys. But we use it here, as to say that we are going to guard that image that she has imprinted on our hearts. And that image will carry us through this life, and it will radiate to others. It will radiate that the existence of what she said in her first apparitions, that God is real to a world that has declared that He is not. We have the opportunity to radiate that from the imprint that we have received. We have to guard that, with the works of these messages: of mass, and confession, and fasting, and prayer, and rosary; and those things that Our Lady has brought us to that empower us with the Holy Spirit that we have received here.
This is a special moment, in a special time, in a special place. And, incredibly enough, we all have been called to be here. Let us rejoice! Let us rejoice to know the victory is won. She is here as a sign of God’s victory, that all the works of the devil that are out there, that sometimes are very much in our face, have no power whatsoever in her presence.
And we, today, brothers and sisters, are in her presence. We can rejoice in that and know that God has loved us here and called us to be His witnesses to the truth of this moment, to the truth of this time, and to the recognition that the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart – the Triumph of Our Lady of Medjugorje – will have the final word.
And she leads us to her Son. She leads us to the Heart of Jesus, who has a special place for each and every one of you. Let us rejoice in that this day and call upon the Lord to continue to lead us in a greater way in His love; that we would be His witnesses to a world that is in dire need – dire need – to know that Love, to know that Purpose, and to know God’s Living Plan.
View the Homily here:
Thank you, Fr. Shawn! We all say, “Wow!” Amen!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
(c) Mary TV 2021