February 2, 2017 – “Dear children! You who are striving to offer every day of your life to my Son, you who are trying to live with Him, you who are praying and sacrificing – you are hope in this peaceless world. You are rays of the light of my Son, a living gospel, and you are my beloved apostles of love. My Son is with you. He is with those who think of Him – those who pray. But in the same way, He is patiently waiting for those who do not know Him. Therefore, you, apostles of my love, pray with the heart and with your works show the love of my Son. This is the only hope for you, and this is also the only way to eternal life. I, as a mother, I am here with you. Your prayers directed to me are the most beautiful roses of love for me. I cannot but be where I sense the scent of roses. There is hope. Thank you. “
What an encouraging and beautiful message from the Blessed Mother! It’s like a ray of light breaking through a cloud-filled sky, reminding us that we are not alone or forsaken. That God sees our efforts and our desire to love Him more!
We live in a world full of dark clouds that sometimes seemingly become darker and darker; there’s much confusion and unrest out there. But the Mother comes to us, on behalf of the Holy Trinity, and brings us the light of Heaven. She knows our struggles, she sees what we’re up against. Her Immaculate Heart sympathizes with us, and she comes to help.
When I first read this message the word hope really stood out for me.
“…You who are striving to offer every day of your life to my Son, you who are trying to live with Him, you who are praying and sacrificing – you are hope in this peaceless world…
“…You are rays of the light of my Son, a living gospel, and you are my beloved apostles of love…”
“…There is hope…”
Knowing that every effort in obedience, virtue, and love to the Lord on our part is not in vain is a great comfort and a needed reminder. Sometimes discouragement and doubt (both subtle snares of the Evil One) can rear its ugly face and set up road blocks on our road to holiness. But here the Mother encourages us as if saying, “Keep it up! You’re on the right track!” Our attempts, no matter how many times we may fail, are never without merit. God sees, and He knows. What matters is that we don’t give up. Ever.
On Thursday evening I attended Eucharistic Adoration at my parish, and while I was there spending time with Jesus I began to contemplate deeper Our Lady’s message; about hope, and being those rays of light of Jesus to a world void of peace.
Gazing at the Blessed Sacrament I thought about my own efforts, and my desires to love Him more and obey His will; to live a good life, and do what’s right. At the same time, I thought about how He’s successfully drew me closer to Him in my life through the help of Our Lady; His protection, mercy, love, and the gifts and graces He’s bestowed on myself and others.
With all that flashing through my mind, my heart became full, and I suddenly felt so small before the Eucharistic Jesus. He, a Prisoner of Love, giving Himself totally and completely on the Altar for my sake. Me, who is nothing but dust without Him. A great sense of humility, thanksgiving, and peace washed over me as the world beyond the walls of the church were quickly forgotten, and I recognized my littleness before God.
In my heart, I could hear myself saying to Him, Lord, the only reason I am able to do any good at all is because of you. I am nothing, but you are everything. If there is hope at all in the world, it is not because of me or any one person, it’s because you live.
That’s when I began to understand Our Lady’s message better.
Jesus lives in us, and we live in Him. Hope exists because He exists.
He guides our will, protects us, and provides for us. And when we decide to actively seek Him, and love Him, He then is able to work more in us and through us. We become vessels of our Blessed Lord, of His light and goodness, as He fully resides in our hearts along with His Holy Mother. We’re not just living with Him, we’re giving our lives to Him.
We don’t need to look very far for the Blessed Lord.
“…My Son is with you. He is with those who think of Him – those who pray…”
When we say yes to Jesus, we carry Him in our hearts.
We carry hope; true hope.
Jesus is the true hope.
“…Therefore, you, apostles of my love, pray with the heart and with your works show the love of my Son. This is the only hope for you, and this is also the only way to eternal life…”
We are called to be the light in the darkness as carriers of Christ. We must remember in everything we do the encouraging words of Our Lady to keep striving to offer each day to Jesus, but with the humble recollection that any good that comes from us is because of Him alone.
Jesus makes us great.
He sets us free from ourselves.
He gives us new life each moment and day.
The Blessed Mother is here to gather up her children, and bring them back to her Son. Those of us who have opened our lives and hearts to Jesus and Mary are also called to help in this task by our example.
Let us in joyful obedience keep offering our prayers and sacrifices to the Lord, allowing Jesus and Mary to work in us as we strive to live good Christian lives. Let us allow them to reflect their love, hope and peace that this world is in so desperate need of. Let us also not forget the immense selfless love and compassion of Christ Crucified on the Cross, His presence in the Blessed Sacrament, and how He gives us new life each day through His infinite mercy.
Without Him, we are dust. Give thanks to the Lord!
St. Junipero Serra used to always say, “Always forward, never backwards.”
So, let us go forward then always carrying the true hope Who lives in us, and us in Him.