Whether you are a priest, lay person or religious, I would like you to read these few words. As you know it was Jesus Himself who was the first to apply the title Mother of Christ to the Church when He said: “My brothers and sisters are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” (Luke 8 : 21)
We are all called to grow into a spiritual maturity resembling Mary and this is brought home to us by St Francis of Assisi when he wrote to his brothers: “We are Mothers of Christ when we carry Him in our hearts and our bodies through divine love and a pure sincere conscience: we give birth to Him through holy works which should shine as an example before others.”
Today, Mary as a Mother is concerned about us, a concern which shines through her messages at Medjugorje. These messages are based on the Gospel and on the official teaching of the Church, and so are sound, orthodox and Catholic in content.
On this basis alone a Catholic is not only free to adopt the messages of Medjugorje, but is in fact called to live them, which are nothing less than the challenge of the Gospel. This inspires us today to greater prayer, penance and, as a result, to peace in public and private life.
Can an obedient Catholic accept the contents of private revelation prior to an official judgment of the Church on the apparitions? The answer is yes provided the person tales the trouble to examine the orthodoxy of the messages and finds nothing incompatible with the Gospel or Church teaching.
If you have avoided Medjugorje – then, please, I beg you to do so no longer. At least read and reflect on the messages. Mary is simply begging us to take the Gospel to our hearts and to live it with passion and conviction. Yes it is a challenge, but is there anything wrong in that?
May the Lord and His Mother bless you.
• Fr John McCaffery OFM