New Year's Eve Prayer Vigil in Medjugorje

date: 01.01.2023.

During the last day of 2022, many pilgrims from Italy, Germany, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, France, England, USA, Spain, South Korea, Ukraine, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina stayed in Medjugorje. Prayer vigil in the church St. James in Medjugorje prior to the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, began at 10 p.m. with Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar was led by Fr. Marin Mikulić. The Holy Mass was celebrated by Fr. Jozo Grbeš, Provincial of the Franciscan Province of Herzegovina. There were 112 priests with him in the concelebration.

"Brothers and sisters, another year is behind us, we are changing calendars, analyzing ourselves and our events and people, states and individuals. We look for explanations, we thank God and hope that we will do, think and live better in the year that begins its unknown path. It is good to prepare for the journey, because tomorrow belongs to those who prepare today. If we want a new and better way of life, that means a new way of thinking, and a new way of thinking is the fruit of the Spirit... As the great Benedict XVI said, whom the Lord called to Him today: "He who has hope lives differently". The secret and greatness of eternity, life and God himself can only be understood with a humble and not arrogant attitude. This is what the Mother of Bethlehem, the Woman of Nazareth, Our Lady of all times and of this here, so gently interprets for us. Dear friends, departures say something about eternity and arrivals about love. The new year is, therefore, a turning point in time marked by the ceremonial closing of a period of the past and the opening of the new and unknown," Fr. Jozo Grbeš said at the beginning of his homily, adding that our personality and originality are a gift from God the Creator.

Fr. Jozo Grbeš also said that love is the center of life and the universe, past and future, especially referring to the family.

"Family and friends are a gift from God, a pure gift. Let's not give it up easily. Family is the place where happiness resides, it must be a place of people who understand us, and only those who love us understand us. Or as Mother Teresa said: "What can you do for peace in the world? Go home and love your family”. The power of faith? Believe in the Lord, that faith in the Lord makes life worth living, because faith in God gives you the knowledge that you too are part of something bigger that is much bigger than you and me. Faith in Christ gives the sense that we are not alone on our journey. Someone who is close to God, he really has power, he can defeat the evil that is eroding the world. Just as Benedict XVI spent his life searching for the face of Jesus, it is for us to know, as he says, that to believe is nothing else than to touch God's hand in the darkness of the world and in that way to hear the word and see love in silence," said Fr. Jozo Grbeš and invited all believers not to remain the same from tonight and ended his sermon with the words:

"Tonight, on this night of time transition, we ask ourselves what traces we will leave behind this new year. What is important and what is unimportant? What am I and who could I be? Am I a copy or an original? The Lord created me original, did I choose a path that copies other people, lives and actions or do I know who I am? The difference between an original and a copy is the difference between essential and unimportant, good and bad, right and wrong. If we want, really if we want, really if we want this night in Medjugorje - this night can truly become the first day of the rest of our lives. Everything can be different after this night. We will take this most important step of our life only if we take Christ's commandment of love seriously. Tonight and every day of our lives, if tonight is his first day for us, the rest of our lives will be a great joy. May it be so for us, for me and for you, and for you wherever you are tonight and wherever you will be tomorrow. Amen".

At the end of the Holy Mass, Medjugorje parish priest Fr. Zvonimir Pavičić addressed the faithful, thanking the provincial Fr. Joza Grbeš for coming and for celebrating the Holy Mass that ushered in the New Year, and then to all the parishioners and pilgrims on behalf of all the friars who work in the parish of Medjugorje and on behalf of Msgr. Aldo Cavalli congratulated the New Year, adding: "We entered it celebrating the Eucharist and honoring Mary the Mother of God, may her intercession follow us in the New Year and pray for peace for everyone. Happy New Year". (PHOTO)