As the years roll on and the numbers visiting Medjugorje increase, so also more accommodation for pilgrims springs up amid the rocky landscape. The latest trend is to build apartments for sale and for rent. This worries some people, especially as there does seem to be a surplus of available accommodation already in and around the village.
But we cannot escape the fact that there IS a need to accommodate the expanding number of pilgrims that flows to Medjugorje. But all this building activity can appear to encroach upon the once very peaceful surroundings and there certainly does seems to be more hustle and bustle in and around Medjugorje area over the past couple of years as new businesses are started and construction continues unabated, seemingly often without any perception of planning need or control.
But we should be careful not to succumb to the temptation to look on this expansion negatively – I have heard many comments from pilgrims, who arrived in Medjugorje during the early years of the apparitons, saying that the place is just not the same anymore. In one sense they are correct in their observations, but personally I feel that by focusing on the expanding development of Medjugorje we can be detracted from the real building work that takes place there – that of the kingdom of God.
The graces are ever-flowing, possibly even more so; there has been no cessation of Our Lady’s appearances. Sinners are continually reconciled with God and each other daily and in ever increasing numbers, year on year. Even the parish grounds have undergone remarkable transformation in recent times, and completion of a new sacristy has taken place this year – for the third time – to accommodate the increase of priests concelebrating Mass; and all of this with the blessing of the local bishop of Mostar!
So let us view the expanding accommodation facilities of Medjugorje as an opportunity to house more pilgrims. More pilgrims mean more graces dispensed to bear more fruit, and perhaps can be seen as Our Lady’s way of renewing the Universal Church she mothers, and bringing her children back to fill the empty pews when they return home.