August 25, 1988 – “Dear children! Today I invite you all to rejoice in the life which God gives you. Little children, rejoice in God, the Creator, because He has created you so wonderfully. Pray that your life be joyful thanksgiving which flows out of your heart like a river of joy. Little children, give thanks unceasingly for all that you possess, for each little gift which God has given you, so that a joyful blessing always comes down from God upon your life. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
With Christmas getting closer with each hour and day, I, honestly, haven’t had a chance to really meditate on a particular reflection post. Many distractions, lots of errands to do, cleaning, gifts to wrap, and preparations to make for the Christmas feast. I’m sure most folks are in the same boat as I am during this special time of year. My prior intention earlier this week was to write a quick post and share a past Medjugorje Christmas message since I was expecting due to my busy schedule I wouldn’t be able to come up with a thoughtful reflection by Saturday. But thankfully, the good Lord put it in my heart to really reflect on something very important.
After attending Mass Wednesday evening, I decided to stay a little longer in my pew to pray and give thanks to God. The church grew quieter and quieter as parishioners slowly made their way out. After changing out of his liturgical vestments, the parish priest comes out and directs a couple of strong-looking men to a large statue of the church’s patron saint situated on a platform behind the altar. The men begin to carefully remove the statue of the saint while nearby other members of the church began to bring in another statue to replace the saint for Christmas. It was a beautiful statue of the Divino Nino de Bogota, or also known as Divine Child Jesus.
You might’ve seen it before. In fact, I’ve probably posted it on here before. It’s a statue of the Child Jesus standing with his arms outstretched, and the words “Yo Reinare” (I Reign) written at the base. This devotion originated in Bogota, Columbia from Fr. John Rizzo. You can check out the history of this devotion HERE for more information. Mother Angelica, who founded EWTN, also had a special devotion to the Divine Child Jesus, too.
Every time I see that statue of the little Jesus it’s as if He is beckoning us to scoop Him up in our arms and hug Him close. But sitting in my pew, and looking at Jesus, it had me thinking about the goodness of God in my life; my faith and what it means to me, and all God has given to me and others; His mercy and love. And I began to think about the great miracle and gift of the Birth of Jesus.
It’s an immense act of infinite love, and a mysterious yet incredible sign of God’s power, that most of us simply either do not register in our minds, or overlook. Think about it. God Himself—our Creator—coming down to us in the form of a human baby, the most vulnerable and innocent of all creatures, and born of a virgin. God Who is great, comes in human-form to us, which compared to God we are nothing but mere dust, in order to save us from sin. Such incredible love!!
For the rest of my Wednesday evening, that was pretty much on my mind, and it gave me such wonderful peace to give thanks to the Lord for His goodness! And on the following day those sentiments were practically confirmed when someone near and dear to me gave the above posted Medjugorje message in a greeting card.
“Dear children! Today I invite you all to rejoice in the life which God gives you. Little children, rejoice in God, the Creator, because He has created you so wonderfully. Pray that your life be joyful thanksgiving which flows out of your heart like a river of joy. Little children, give thanks unceasingly for all that you possess, for each little gift which God has given you, so that a joyful blessing always comes down from God upon your life. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Jesus is the life, the way, and truth. He is salvation, mercy, and love. Jesus makes an otherwise gray and dark world full of life and color. Even in our tribulations, Jesus is always with us; He teaches us, fortifies us, and protects us. He sends His Mother, and Holy Angels to be with us; He brings miracles and signs of His presence among us. The Lord’s grace is everlasting. So much blessing is poured upon us when we give thanks to God for every little thing, even the things we think are insignificant.
This Christmas Eve, as we anticipate His glorious Birth, let us fill our hearts with thanks to God Almighty for everything He gives us; our families and close friends; the blessings and lessons in life; for creating, redeeming and sanctifying us. And let us also pray for others in the world who are in need, and those who have not yet accepted Christ in their life.
Let us make our hearts a joyful, humble and loving abode for Jesus to be born in this Christmas! And may Our Lady, the Queen of Peace, also come to us carrying the ultimate gift, the King of Peace, Jesus, in her arms for us!
On Christmas Day, Medjugorje visionaries Marija and Jakov will be receiving apparitions of Our Lady. Marija receives a message every 25th of the month for the world, and Jakov has an annual apparition of the Blessed Mother on Christmas Day. As soon as I receive the translated messages, I will post them together here for readers.