He found me on the ground…
July 11, 2022
Dear Family of Mary!
Yesterday, June 10, 2022, Fr. Michael Fitzgerald gave the homily for English Mass. He spoke on the Gospel reading for that day, Luke 10:25-37. It is the parable of the Good Samaritan. Fr. Michael was inspired by the Holy Spirit, really on fire! So I have his words here, but to really get the fullness of his homily, go to Mary TV and watch the video, in the English Homily Archive, for June 10, 2022.
Homily for English Mass in Medjugorje, June 10, 2022!
Many of you would have heard of Sr. Clare Crockett. Have you heard of her? She came from Derry in Ireland. Sr. Claire was a member of the Spanish community, The Home of the Mother. And she was tragically killed in an earthquake in Ecuador, in April 2016. She was age 23 years. The video, “All or Nothing,” of her life has inspired many. I hope you will get a chance of seeing it. It is a beautiful video.
But today I don’t want to speak about Sr. Claire’s story. I want to speak about another member of her community. Her name is Sr. Ruth O’Callaghan. Sr. Ruth came from Dublin. She also died, at age 37, following a rapid form of cancer, in December 2020.
Sr. Ruth, as a young girl, was drawn into the modern, destructive culture of partying, alcohol, and drugs. She was like the man on the road to Jericho. (See Luke 10:25-37) She was battered, bruised, and bleeding…but bleeding and bruised morally. It was destroying her beautiful life. Her beautiful, young life.
And some of her family and friends talked her into going to Medjugorje. And she gave in. On the way over, on the airplane, she found herself sitting by a priest. And she was not at all comfortable sitting by him. Her dad gave her a book so that she might not be bored in Medjugorje. (Any of you bored? It is hard to be bored here, isn’t it!)
But while here she felt a need to go to confession. It had been a very long time since she was at confession. She was now in her early 20’s. But the priest asked her, by asking a series of questions, and in the middle of the confession, she began to cry uncontrollably. When she left the confessional, she testified the following:
“I experienced two things: immense peace and at the same time, a sharp pain. The Lord had showed me my conscience. So many times, I had tried to conceal things, and pretend not to notice them. Trying to hide things that I didn’t want to see. Because I didn’t really want to change. But now the Lord was putting them all before me.”
Just then after confession, she was invited to go to Mass. Again, Sr. Ruth testifies:
“When it came time for Holy Communion, I knew I could receive because I had just been to confession. Nevertheless, I couldn’t get into the line for Communion. At that moment, the priest came in front of me, and gave me Holy Communion!”
And again she began to cry uncontrollably. And all of a sudden…now this is the important part of the story, so don’t miss it…All of a sudden, after receiving Holy Communion, she remembered when she was five years of age, visiting a church with her mother. While her mother went to light candles at various statues (in Ireland you will see people coming into church and lighting candles at statues.) five year old Ruth went into the front pew of the church. She used the kneeler – and played horse on it, gliding along till the end. When she got to the end of the pew, she saw a Holy Communion Host on the floor. She talked to herself – “I know this is God! But I can’t receive Him because I haven’t received my first Holy Communion.” Nevertheless, she picked Him up and cleaned Him off, and consumed Him. This was five hear old Ruth. This was the memory that came to her after receiving Communion in Medjugorje.
“The memory was before me, and I experienced that the Lord was doing the very same with me here in Medjugorje. He found me on the ground, like something thrown out and dirty, and He wanted to clean me. At this moment, I found out what the Lord was like. I realized in a profound way that He is alive! The Lord is alive!! Not in an abstract way. But rather, that He is a person, with a name, and He is calling me.”
Now we never know how a Host could end up on the floor of a church. I have experienced it a couple of times as a priest. Maybe a child took the Host. Maybe somebody took it and then couldn’t receive it, but then left it on the floor.
But Ruth felt, at that moment, after communion, like that man, battered and bruised, on the road to Jericho. The Lord picked her up. The Lord bandaged her wounds, healed her, comforted her, and consoled her.
And that is how I would like you to think of Jesus today. That is what He would like to do for each and every one of us here in the congregation. He would like to pick us up, clean us off, give us life, give us joy, give us peace.
And in that moment Ruth gave herself completely to Jesus.
Ruth returned to Ireland. And she surprised everyone. She was a changed person. She began to go to daily Mass. She changed her lifestyle. And she was introduced to the Home of the Mother Community like Sr. Claire Crockett. She joined them, aged 22, and remained with them until her death, a year and a half ago, age 37, following a year of cancer.
She was also the leader of the first Home of the Mother Community, established in Ireland. There are now four communities of the Home of the Mother Community in Ireland, two male, and two female.
Dear friends, what we learn from Sr. Ruth’s amazing testimony is that we have to first realize that God’s love is real! God’s love is personal for you and me! He knows me intimately; He knows you intimately. Back to when you were five years of age. And He hasn’t forgotten anything that you have done. All the good things that you have done. And we have to learn to love and accept ourselves in the love of God, in truth and humility before we can really love others.
Our God’s name is Jesus! And He is the visible image of the unseen God. And He is alive! Truly present in the Holy Eucharist! So, when we receive Him today, remember He knows me, He loves me, He knows my wounds, He knows my memories, He knows my struggles! As a sign of His incredible love for each and every one of us.
Our Lady, in the 41st Anniversary Message says: “Little children, do not forget that you are important in my plan of salvation of mankind. Return to God and to prayer that the Holy Spirit may work in you and through you.”
Dear friends, when Sr. Ruth entered the confessional here in Medjugorje, behind us, all those 24 years ago, she could never have realized how important she was in Our Lady’s plan! Our Lady, Queen of Peace of Medjugorje, was bringing her back to Jesus, and to her true self. Every one of us, if we follow what Our Lady has asking, is important. You are important. Everyone is important in our own way, to help Mary establish the Reign of her Son Jesus Christ! May He be praised forever! Alleluia!!
May we receive the light of the Holy Spirit at this Mass today. May the Holy Spirit show us what He wants. Give us the courage to carry it out. Come Holy Spirit, live in us, and act in every single one of us!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
(c)Mary TV 2022