The ‘Holy Lance’ at Medjugorje

• photo © copyright of Bernard Gallagher • do not reproduce without permission

Dear children! Also today I call all of you for your hearts to blaze with more ardent love for the Crucified, and do not forget that, out of love for you, He gave His life so that you may be saved. Little children, meditate and pray that your heart may be open to God’s love. Thank you for having responded to my call. September 25, 2007

This photograph of the recently erected Crucifix in Medjugorje was taken in the late afternoon of Sunday 14th October (Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time). The theme of the Mass that day was Thanksgiving. The Missal explanation reads: Today we come to give thanks to God and to offer sacrifice to him for having made known to us his salvation and cleansed us from our sins.

Part of the opening prayer contained these words: Father in heaven… Go before us in our pilgrimage of life, anticipate our needs and prevent our falling. Send your Spirit to unite us in faith, that sharing in your service, we may rejoice in your presence.

The Gospel acclamation for the day reads: Your word are spirit, Lord, and they are life: you have the message of eternal life.

Interestingly, the solar flare on the photograph is reminiscent of the soldier’s lance that pierced the right side of Jesus, from which flowed blood and water, representative of the Church and its Sacraments. The flare is also representative of the tongue of fire associated with the Holy Spirit – “living water” as described by St John in his Gospel. It is from this wound that the Sacred Heart of Jesus is revealed, and from which flows his infinite love and mercy. On a personal note, I see this photograph as a reminder that Medjugorje truly is a place of sacramental and sanctifying grace.

“Jesus stood there and cried out: ‘If any man is thirsty, let him come to me! Let the man come and drink – who believes in me!’ As Scripture says:, From his breast shall flow fountains of living water. He was speaking of the Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive…“ John 7 : 37-39

Lifted high on the cross, Christ gave his life for us, so much did he love us. From his wounded side flowed blood and water, the fountain of Sacramental life in the Church. To his open heart the Saviour invites all men, to draw water in joy from the springs of salvation. (from the Preface of the Mass of the Sacred Heart)

His nails and spear cry to me that I am thoroughly reconciled to Christ, if I but love him. Longinus has opened me Christ’s side with his spear, and I am gone into it and there do I rest in safety. St Augustine

I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already! Luke 12 : 49

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