The Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Dear Family of Mary!
On September 12 ,2021, Fr. Goran Azinovic, a parish priest from Citluk, gave the homily for the Mass celebrated on Cross Mountain, in honor of the Triumph of the Cross. It was a beautiful day in Medjugorje, with a brilliant blue sky. The Cross on the mountain was white as snow, and the entire hill was packed with people! Pilgrims and parishioners were together, praying in that most holy spot.
Fr. Goran gave a powerful homily that day. It is more powerful to hear him speak than to read it. You can watch him speak at this link on the Mary TV website:
But I have transcribed a portion of his homily for you. Fr. Goran spoke powerfully about the glory and power of the Cross. Today in the broader Church we celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Thanks be to God for the Cross, the sign of our salvation!!
Fr. Goran Azinovic – excerpt from his Homily
We need the people who built this cross. We need Wyszyński and Stepinac (holy martyrs of our time). For in the valley of the world we only worry about what we buy, what we have, everywhere in the world this is so. But that is why Our Lady has appeared on Podbrdo. And people are climbing to this Cross. Because Our Lady tells us to come out to the Hills from the valley and you will see that you have enough. God gave you even more than you need!
This Cross couldn’t be built in a valley. This Cross couldn’t be down there because people wouldn’t see it. Though it is about 8 ½ meters high, people wouldn’t see it if it was down in the valley. But here (on top of Mount Krizevac) people see it. Many times, I drive down from Citluk and I look up at it! As in the first reading for today, I say, “Jesus help me!”
This is the same cry as when the people in the desert were being bitten by the snakes. What are the snakes today? Career, money, lack of prayer, curses, those who say, “My son is living somewhere with someone. And when someone says, Mother, did you try to stop him? And she says that she didn’t want to fight.” Look, these are the serpents. Today we die because of these snake bites.
Sister Faustina was once called outside by the Lord – “Let me show you something!” Jesus said. She saw a fight behind her convent, between the angels and the devil, and Jesus said to her, “I need your prayer. If you do not pray and love and adore the Cross, your convent will be closed, and you will have to leave.” And she began to pray, humbly and sincerely. The same applies to you and your families. Outside your homes it is a constant fight between the angels and the devil, so if you do not pray you will lose the faith…
So many people live formally. They have a house but there is no home. There is no love, no living faith, no prayer. This Cross we built, that is the living faith. That is why the message to us parishioners here is that we cannot give up on the Cross. Everything would be much better if we loved and adored the Cross more, that the Cross would become the center of our life.
Often, we come to our house, and we look around and we see all we have, and we see the comfort, the big kitchen, two refrigerators, and we create comfort, but we will not be comfortable in the biggest house you can find, if Jesus is not inside. You will not have joy. Jesus wants you to make a home in which He can be present. That is why Our Lady says to make a little altar, put up a Cross, put the Bible there. More than ever, we need the Cross. Through the Cross the victory comes.
Father Marinko said about this Cross, “It was the women who were carrying the cement blocks up the mountain to build this Cross. Grandmas were bringing the cement blocks up this mountain so that this Cross would be built. That was the faith…. Our Lady said this Cross was in God’s plan. This was meant to be built so that you could continue to believe. So that you would remain united.
Now think of this, if every pilgrim who has come here had brought a little cement block, this Cross would go all the way up to heaven, through those 40 years…this Cross would reach Heaven. Why? Because that many people have passed through Medjugorje and that many people have converted. A priest once said, “It is Our Lady, using Cross Mountain and Apparition Hill, so that many, many people here are converted through the stones, not through us, priests. It is not us. If you ask pilgrims how they were touched, they will not say it was the food they ate, or the welcome they received from us, they will say, “Yes, it was Apparition Hill with the thorns, it was the Cross on Cross Mountain with the stones! It is Our Lady who is still today using the thorns and the stones. Why? We did not become prophets. We are not the ones evangelizing.
From this place, Gospa, Mary, Our Lady, thank you! Because despite the silence, You are the one speaking to us! Despite us, who are not witnessing, you are witnessing! Go try to make another hill, with a path, but people will not go there. Take any mountain in the world, but the people will not go there. No, it is this hill where people want to be broken before God. (The Hill where Our Lady has come.)
That is why Jesus said, “Every knee will bend before Me!” That is why you must make your decision! Will you give Jesus glory during your life, or when you die? If it is only when you die it will be too late.
That is why when you come home, as a Father or a Mother, and your child asks you what you are doing, you must kneel down. And the child will ask why? Before whom are you kneeling? Then put the Cross up and pray before the Cross. Say “I want to be mother or father to you, my child, in that you see I kneel before the Cross. I want you to do the same.” The Cross is not a decoration. The faith is not in words but in deeds. So, show your deeds. Be holy!… Like Wyszyński, like Stepinac , like Fr. Slavko. Amen!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!