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(c) Mateo Ivankovic

November 8, 2018

Dear Family of Mary!

“…That is why I call you, apostles of my love: you, strive to look to the very depth in human hearts and there you are certain to find the little hidden treasure. To look in this way is mercy from the Heavenly Father. To seek the good even where there is the greatest evil-to strive to comprehend each other and not to judge-that is what my Son is asking of you. And I, as a mother, am calling you to listen to Him….” (November 2, 2018)

We have been taking our time with this section of Our Lady’s November 2, 2018 message. And we will continue today. To my great delight, Fr. Joseph Jacobsen celebrated Holy Mass for the English speaking at St. James yesterday, and his homily was also about this section of Our Lady’s message!! And he did a brilliant job! So I have transcribed it for you, although you can hear it for yourselves at this link – Mass for November 7, 2018: https://marytv.tv/english-mass-in-medjugorje/

Fr. Joseph Jacobson, Homily for November 7, 2018 English Mass in Medjugorje:

Lord, sanctify us in your truth. Your Word is Truth. Amen

“Among whom you shine.” Those are the key words embedded in our first reading for today. “Among whom you shine.” Whom are we to shine among? St. Paul tells us, “This crooked and perverse generation.” And who are we? He also defines us as “Children of God, without blemish, blameless and innocent.” That means we are often in Confession, right? That’s the only way we can be Children of God without blemish, blameless and innocent. That is the only way that we can stay that way. Sinners that we are!! But that’s who we are in the midst of this crooked and perverse generation. “Holding fast to the Word of Life, and being lights in the world.” That’s who we are.

Now compare that to the challenge we received from the Blessed Mother last Friday. She said, “My Son is the Light of the world. Therefore, Apostles of my love, do not be afraid to witness to Truth with enthusiasm, works, love, sacrifice, and above all in humility. Witness to the Truth to all who have not yet come to know my Son.”

Do you see how she equates truth and her Son? Those who do not yet know Mary’s Son are, despite the best of intentions, a crooked and perverse generation. All mixed up. Jesus looked at them and said that His heart went out to them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. There is no way, without knowing Mary’s Son, that we can be anything but a crooked and perverse generation. Not that we are not loved, we are tremendously loved. But we are all mixed up. And it is among the “all mixed up” ones that you and I are called to shine.

But how do you even begin to shine in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation? Our Blessed Mother also gives us the one and only, and the indispensable starting point in her message. It is one of the “knock you over” moments in her messages that we often find. They just hit us between the eyes! She says, “I call you, apostles of my love”…she insists on calling us this, over and over again…and telling us we are apostles of her love. In message after message she calls us this, apostles of her love.

I call you, apostles of my love, to strive to see all the way to the bottom of human hearts because there you will find without fail, a hidden treasure, however small. Something good even in the midst of even the greatest evil. My Son, (she tells us) is calling you to understand people, not to judge them.
This, I presume, is what she means by saying “witnessing to the truth in humility.” Being willing to get to the bottom of the heart of each person and responding to that hidden treasure there.
So it comes down to this, the only truth acceptable to a crooked and perverse generation as it stands, without Jesus, is the universal assumption that there is no such thing as the truth. That is the one truth that everybody accepts in a crooked and perverse generation, in a secular society especially, that there is no such thing as the truth.
Pilate’s cynical question to Jesus at His trial, expresses the mindset of our entire godless culture. “What is truth???” That is the way I think he said it. What is truth???” Not even the faintest point of contact exists between this crooked and perverse generation and the notion that there is something called Truth that can straighten us all out. Not even the faintest point of contact.

But you will notice that something started getting through to Pilate before he was done with Jesus. And that something was not some “thing”, but some “one”! Someone Mary equates with truth as she said in her message to us last week. Someone who saw all the way to the bottom of Pilate’s heart and found a hidden treasure even there.

Truth, Jesus the Person, in humility takes root even in Pilate. He is a saint in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. And so is his wife, St. Procla. And she is a saint in all the Orthodox churches, his wife, the one who tried to get him to have nothing to do with this just man.

So study the dialogue sometime between Jesus and Pilot, from the perspective of Jesus’ humility, by which He both excuses and honors Pilot, at the time, probing to the bottom and touching him deeply enough so that he can declare to the world “I am innocent of the blood of this just man!” Pilot may not know what truth is. But he’s very close to knowing who truth is. And that also is the secret in our cynical day and age, where truth seems to matter to no one anymore. Nor can it matter in a culture in which the crooked and the perverse have become not only the norm, but the ideal! Extolled in the media, and required in secular educational systems.

We shine in the midst of our generation to the degree that cynics like Pilot meet Jesus in us. He is the world’s Light, as Mary says. He is Truth, as she also tells us. What makes us her apostles of love? Being Christophers – Christ Bearers! That makes us Apostles of her Love.

Truth is a Person. Not an extraction. Truth is Mary’s Son, not a set of rules. Truth is Jesus! We witness to Truth every time people meet Jesus in us. And as we all know so well people will meet Jesus in us always when the Eucharist is the center of our life. The center. Supported by prayer, fasting, constant confession, and Sacred Scripture. That’s what makes us lights in the world shining in the very midst of a crooked and perverse generation. That’s what makes us apostles of our Mother’s love. (Homily in Medjugorje, November 7, 2018)

It was Jesus’ presence, Jesus who is Truth, that saved the adulterous woman and Zacchaeus the tax collector, and it was also Jesus’ presence that penetrated the heart of Pilate, so deeply that he would proclaim Jesus the Just Man. But, as Father Jacobson said, we can be Christ-bearers, and bring that same Truth to other, in the person of Jesus, dwelling within us. Our Lady would have us do so. This is the only hope for our poor world full of crookedness and perversion.

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2018