Life in the Resurrected Christ
By Petronia Laine

At this time of grace we have been asked to surrender our hearts to Jesus through many of Our Lady of Medjugorje's messages. A way of surrendering is through the devotion of Divine Mercy by works of mercy to gain merit for the salvation of our souls. "If a soul does not exercise mercy in some way or other it will not obtain My mercy on judgment day. Oh, if only souls knew how to gather eternal treasure for themselves, they would not be judged, for they would forestall my judgment with mercy (IV,57)." By first praying for the Spirit of Truth let us focus on a few messages on what Our Lady invites for us in the way of obtaining mercy. I have underlined a few words for attention, even though her whole message is invaluable.

The Message of March 25, 2002: "Dear children! Today I call you to unite with Jesus in prayer. Open your heart to Him and give Him everything that is in it: joys, sorrows and illnesses. May this be a time of grace for you. Pray, little children, and may every moment belong to Jesus. I am with you and I intercede for you. Thank you for having responded to my call." I understand the above message "belong to Jesus" is learning to overcome our self will and allow our will to live in Christ by prayer and works of mercy. Surrendering our will is a way of living in the resurrected Christ for our hope of salvation by being righteous. The Resurrection is our Hope of salvation. The Gospels give many ways that works of mercy is being righteous.

In the Gospel of Matthew 25:31-46, we are instructed to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, comfort the imprisoned, visit the sick and to bury the dead. These are all corporal works of mercy and then there are also the spiritual works of mercy. We are instructed to admonish sinners, instruct the uninformed, counsel the doubtful, comfort the sorrowful, be patient with those in error, forgive offences, and to pray for the living and the dead.

The works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the help of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities (Isaiah 58:6-7, Heb. 13:1-3). Among the corporal and spiritual works of mercy are giving alms to the poor as one of the main witnesses to brotherly charity; it is also a work of justice pleasing to God (Tob. 4:5-11; Sirach 17:22). When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you (Matt. 6:2-4). "For the poor will never cease out of the land; therefore I command you, 'You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor in the land'. "(Deut. 15:11). And in the Gospel of John 12:8 Jesus says these words, "The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me." In these words Jesus invites us to see with our heart His own presence in the poor who are His brethern. And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'...Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?' He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.' And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life Mat. 25:40-46). " Jesus says that doing works of mercy is being righteous and is necessary for our salvation. Our Lady is inviting us through Mirjana's last two messages to do works of mercy.

Our Lady said to Mirjana on March 18, 2001: "Dear children! Today I call you to love and mercy. Give love to each other as your Father gives it to you. Be merciful (pause) - with the heart. Do good works, not permitting them to wait for you too long. Every mercy that comes from the heart brings you closer to my Son."

And lately, Our Lady said to Mirjana on March 18, 2002: "Dear Children! As a mother I implore you, open your heart and offer it to me, and fear nothing. I will be with you and will teach you how to put Jesus in the first place. I will teach you to love Him and to belong to Him completely. Comprehend, dear children, that without my Son there is no salvation. You should become aware that He is your beginning and your end. Only with this awareness can you be happy and merit eternal life. As your mother I desire this for you. Thank you for having responded to my call." It is clear that the March 18, 2001 message to Mirjana and the March 18, 2002 message to Mirjana are both similar to live in Christ by offering works of mercy to merit our eternal life with God.

It is through daily praying that we become aware of the Holy Spirit within us. We may build our relationship with Jesus this way and become friends by listening and doing the teachings of His Word. Our Lady invites us to focus on the Gospel of Matthew, when she said on March 1, 1984 To Jelena: "Each Thursday, read again the passage of Matthew 6:24-34, before the Most Blessed Sacrament, or if it is not possible to come to church, do it with your family." The Gospel of Matthew 6:33 says to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all things will be given unto thee. May I emphasize that the verse says not only to seek first the kingdom of God but also His righteousness. The Word of God is given to know Jesus in our daily living through prayers combined with works of mercy as in Matt. 25:31-46.

While we are in prayer and seeking the kingdom of God within, we are in the Holy Spirit. Our growth in grace will allow us to take the love of God into the world around us. We are to learn to live in the resurrected Christ while being in the world. On June 24, 1986 Our Lady gave a message to the Prayer Group at Medjugorje: "I beseech you, withdraw in silence. Your obligation is not so much to do, but to adore God, to stay with Him." I understand that staying with God is living in Christ.

Our loving and deceased Mother Teresa taught a way to withdraw in the silence of our heart while doing our daily tasks and jobs. It is a way of being aware of our self-will while relating to others and choosing God's will. Our merciful words of giving forgiveness and comfort to others who we may 'see in the silence of our open hearts' to have this need, is living in Christ. Someone we know or hear-of may be hungry, thirsty, need clothing, need comfort while imprisoned, be homeless and need shelter, or we may know someone who is sick. Providing love to them and offering as works of mercy in 'the silence of our heart' is pleasing to God. We are to do these things in humility and what God sees as works in silence of the heart He will reward and we will give glory to God. All our good words, deeds or prayers can all be offered in the silence of our hearts through the Holy Spirit within us. This is living in Christ while being in the world and is seeking His righteousness as Christians.

St. Paul says in Gal. 2:20: It is not I who lives, but Christ who lives in me. Works of mercy is the witness to the new covenant, being the new way of passing-over our self will to live in the love of God, Who Is Jesus Christ. The revelations given to Saint Blessed Sr. Faustina confirms this, in that it includes the need of practicing mercy towards one's neighbor daily:...by deed, word or prayer (II,162) as a second foundation stone..."If a soul does not exercise mercy in some way or other it will not obtain My mercy on judgment day. Oh, if only souls knew how to gather eternal treasure for themselves, they would not be judged, for they would forestall my judgment with mercy" (IV,57).

Let us live in Divine Mercy each day of our lives with an open heart in the Holy Spirit. Conversion is a daily passing over to holiness. Purification of our souls is living in Jesus Christ through prayer and by doing works of mercy for the love of God. The Divine Mercy prayer is, "Eternal Father, I offer to You the body, blood, soul and divinity of your dearly beloved son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins, and the sins of the whole world." We put our whole heart, mind and body into Christ 'for the sake of His sorrowful passion' for eternal salvation while loving our neighbor. The resurrected Christ is reborn in us through the humble offering of sufferings to God. We become transformed by the renewing of our mind for His glory and experience peace in the midst of tribulation. We are living with joy in the resurrected Christ.

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