Cardinal Robert Sarah: We have come to Medjugorje to renew our faith in Jesus Christ

date: 02.08.2021.

The 32nd Youth Festival started with the presentation of the representatives of the countries that arrived to Medjugorje this year to take part in this event. Many young people arrived to Medjugorje from all over the world. Before the Holy Mass at 7 pm, Fr. Marinko Sakota, the parish priest of Medjugorje, greeted all the representatives and countries who are present at this year’s Festival and who came from: the United States, Czech Republic, France, Austria, Mexico, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Poland, Netherlands, Romania, Italy, Germany, Spain, Slovenia, Holy Land, Switzerland, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Ukraine, Panama, Venezuela, Slovakia, Korea, Ukraine…

The Apostolic Nuncio to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Archbishop Luigi Pezzuto addressed the youth in the beginning and brought them the message of Pope Francis, read to the thousands of youth by Andrija Šego and Katarina Džida, and the whole letter is available HERE.

Solemn Holy Mass in concelebration with Archbishops, bishops and 266 priests was celebrated by Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect emeritus of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. At the beginning of his homily, the Cardinal Sarah explained why thousands of people came to Medjugorje in these days.

“We have come here, to Medjugorje, to renew our faith in Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, that is, to establish an authentic and vital relationship with Him, our Lord and our God, so that in prayer we can answer the crucial question: How to find Jesus and how to behave in His penetrating and sovereign Presence? In other words, are we truly seeking God? Or more precisely, what is the place of God in our lives? We felt the need to come to this pilgrimage, which is like a spiritual exercise, because we live immersed in a world that tries to live without God, where as our desire is to meet the Lord; we have come to recharge our batteries so that we may live better in His Presence and so that we may witness the radiance of the Truth and Mercy of God”, said Cardinal Sarah.

Today Christ the Lord calls us to look in the heights; it is really important to remind modern consumers  that we eat to live and not live to eat. Jesus, who knows the human heart, wants to respond to our deepest desires, to our most essential longings, to this hunger for Love and this thirst for the Absolute that torments us. He sees how too often we run to a dried-up spring that is incapable of quenching this hunger and this thirst: to the almighty technology we have raised to the level of divinity.

Jesus sees our anguish before the emptiness of our existence left to ourselves, without the Good Shepherd leading us and introducing us to his holy land, as the Psalm says today. The Lord, therefore, invites us to cross "to the other shore." This is an important symbol: "to cross to the other shore" means to renounce the easy way and set out on God's way. "Crossing to the other shore" means more than that: accepting one's healing from the great wound of our time: individualism and egocentric hedonism. Pope Benedict XVI spoke on this subject of "coming out of oneself."

And the only remedy that can cure us of this deadly disease for our soul is the Bread of Life, the Most Holy Eucharist. The Greek fathers defined the Eucharist as "pharmacon tès zoes", "the remedy of life", today's psalm says: the bread of the strong for us sick. We dare to approach Holy Communion truly as poor sinners, in order to become stronger in the faith. "To love means to give and to give oneself," said St. Teresa of the Child Jesus. A Pastoral Constitution II. The Vatican Council Gaudium et Spes teaches with authority that "man is not an individual closed in on himself but a person called to surrender to others in love." The Holy Eucharist is, therefore, truly a remedy that allows us to leave the shore of our comfort and our false security, which is marked by relativism, and to cross to the shore of the Gospel of Truth and the Salvation of our souls.

Let us trust in Him and let us be assured that everything else, namely, His grace and eternal happiness, will be granted to us besides. May Our Lady of Medjugorje convert us and help us to do God's work and bless us all. Amen”, were the closing words of the homily of the first evening of the 32nd Youth Festival in Medjugorje, given by Cardinal Robert Sarah, and the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament followed after the Holy Mass.

This year’s Youth Festival, unlike last year’s is made of the morning and the afternoon programme (prayer, songs of the International Choir and Orchestra, testimonies) and the evening prayer programme (Rosary, the Eucharist, Adoration, Prayer with Candles, Veneration of the Holy Cross, movie of Cenacolo community, etc…). (PHOTO)