WAYNE'S JULY COLUMN
SHE WILL CONTINUE TO COME . . .
By Wayne Weible
The 33rd anniversary message given at Medjugorje on June 25, 2014:
Dear children! The Most High is giving me the grace that I can still be with you and to lead you in prayer towards the way of peace. Your heart and soul thirst for peace and love, for God and His joy. Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray and in prayer you will discover the wisdom of living. I bless you all and intercede for each of you before my Son Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Countless followers of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Medjugorje expected a major change in the apparitions on this anniversary day. Many thought the anniversary of the 33rd year of daily apparitions might have an extraordinary message since it is the same number of the age of Jesus when He died on the cross for us.
Actually, the message given on the anniversary of its 33rd year is an extraordinary message; the exact opposite occurred of what many thought might happen. The 33rd anniversary message does not mark the end of this incredible visit by Mary or mark a dramatic change; rather, it extends the grace: “The Most High is giving me the grace that I can still be with you . . .”
This is great news. She will continue to come to us. Millions more will have the opportunity to take advantage of the grace being offered by Heaven.
It is understandable that followers might think that it may come to an end on this particular date. Or, that the Vatican could possibly use this occasion to make a long-awaited positive announcement that would give Medjugorje top shrine status. But the lesson is clear—as usual. God’s time is not our time. He will bring it to an end when it has accomplished all that is intended to accomplish.
Several years ago while conducting an interview with visionary Mirjana, I asked her if she thought the grace of the apparitions was lasting for such an extended time because it was so successful in bringing souls to God. Her answer somewhat surprised me: No, she said, it was lasting for such a long time because it was God’s plan and when that plan was fulfilled, it would end. It was a generalized answer in which Mirjana is so skilled. I didn’t disagree fully, but my belief remains that because it is working so well, it continues.
This personal belief is based on three improbable events that occurred back on August 2, 1981. This was a special day for Medjugorje. The apparitions had been taking place for 39 continuous days. August 2 was a feast day of Our Lady of the Angels and the villagers had celebrated with song and worship in the church for hours. In addition to marking the first day of people seeing the miracle of the sun at the apparition site, two more unusual events occurred later that afternoon that would make it a momentous day in the history of the Medjugorje apparitions.
After a full day of celebration, many members of a young prayer group that had formed shortly after the apparitions started wanted to continue on. They asked visionary Marija and the others if they could meet at a popular field named Gummo and keep the celebration going. Marija was glad to agree stating that she and the others would meet them but first she wanted to return to her home and change into jeans. It was during this time at her home that the second unusual event happened.
As Marija was changing into jeans before coming to the field, the Virgin suddenly appeared to her in her room, telling her: The devil is trying to infiltrate himself here in order to get something. My Son wants to win over all the souls, but the devil is exerting himself to get something. He is making every effort and wants at any price to infiltrate among you.
This second appearance of the Blessed Virgin was startling in itself, especially the strong message warning of Satan’s interference in the apparitions. But then Our Lady made a comment that was even more startling: My child, I do not know how this will turn out . . .
Of course, the Virgin was referring to the whole of her apparitions at the village. Later it would be confirmed that without the positive response of the people, the apparitions would not succeed. Without our response, it will not accomplish what God intends. Thus, the powerful words further into the message given on June 25, 2014: Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray and in prayer you will discover the wisdom of living.
The third unusual event that occurred on August 2, 1981, was the establishment of confession as a powerful force of the Medjugorje apparitions. Now at the field, Marija was again startled when the Virgin appeared a third time that day. Marija stunned those gathered in the field by telling them that Our Lady was appearing again, adding, “Our Lady says she will allow those who so desire to come and touch her.”
As the people rushed forward to “touch” the Virgin, the visionaries would tell them: “You are touching her veil . . . now you are touching her head . . . her dress.” Suddenly Marija shouted: “Oh! Our Lady is disappearing and she is completely blackened!”
Marija’s neighbor, Marinko Ivankovic, a stalwart defender and protector of the children from the first days of the apparitions, asked Marija what had happened. “Oh, Marinko,” she replied, “there were sinners here and as they touched her, her dress got darker and darker until it turned black.” Marija then asked that all present go to confession the following day. Appalled by this visible evidence of the power of sin, Marinko loudly echoed Marija’s call for confession, making sure all were aware of it. For Marija, the message given to her at her home now made sense.
The next day, there were long lines in and around the church for confession, and more the following day. Priests who heard the confessions were astounded at the number and intensity. Pleased with the response, the Virgin urged the people through the visionaries to continue on a path of repentance and conversion. Today, confession at Medjugorje is second only to the power of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
It is safe to say that after 33 years of grace that has reached millions and continues to do so, Medjugorje is a success. It is also clear from this latest message that it is not over. Let us focus on every word that comes to us from Heaven for as long as God desires to allow the Virgin to come down to the village of Medjugorje. That is far more important than anticipating when the apparitions will end.
The grace, peace and love of Jesus be with each of you.