At the end of the third week of Advent, as we wait in joyful expectation of the birth of Jesus, we become more resolute in our prayers, good deeds and sacrifices, we ponder on Our Lady and St. Joseph making the long journey to Bethlehem to register for the census.
Upon reaching their destination, tired and weary, they were rejected at every door they knocked on seeking shelter, they found a stable. Mary carried Jesus in her womb, making it a worthy dwelling to carry the infant for nine months. We ask ourselves, have we made our hearts a worthy dwelling place for Jesus to be born into this Christmas? Have we purified our hearts through the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
We think of the Shepherds, when hearing the announcement of the Angel, hurry to see the New Born King, bringing with them a lamb, for-shadowing that Jesus is the Lamb of God. We ask ourselves, is our Faith strong like that of the Shepherds and do we tell others about Jesus as they did after seeing the baby lying in the manger?
We reflect on the Magi, coming from the East, to pay homage and bear gifts to Christ the King. We ask ourselves, do we take time to adore Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
In the silence of our hearts we ask, what gift can we give Our Lord and King?
On the 20th December 1984, Our Lady, through Marija gave this message;
“Today I invite you to show a concrete gesture for Jesus Christ, I wish that each family in the parish bring each day a flower, as a sign of surrender to Jesus until Christmas which is approaching. Have each member of the family place a flower near the manger; and Jesus, at the time of his arrival, will see your love for Him there.”
and again through Jelena, the inner-locutionist:
“Today I am asking you to do something concrete for Jesus Christ. On the day of joy, I would like every family of the parish to bring a flower as a sign of self-offering to Jesus. I would like every member of the family to have a flower next to the crib, so that Jesus can come and see your offering of self to Him.“
When reading the messages Our Lady gave, we have to keep in mind that it was winter and at that time in 1984, in Medjugorje there wasn’t any flower shops, subsequently flowers were scarce.
We also remember that there is no gift we could give to God that is not already His, but the yearning alone to please Him is pleasing to God, He sees in our hearts more than the gift.
On Christmas morning the parishioners brought flowers from plants they had growing in their homes, flowers that they themselves had lovingly nurtured and watered and brought to bloom and placed them at the manger for Jesus.
Why not bring a flower for Jesus this Christmas, and place it in the crib, a self-offering, a symbol of your humble, purified, cleansed heart, filled with love and sacrifices. May our hearts be a warm welcoming place, a tabernacle, for Jesus to be born into, perhaps the best gift we can give Jesus the King of Peace.