Dear Family of Mary - The homily of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn:

Cardinal Christoph Schonborn speaks of Our Lady of Medjugorje! 2011
Used with permission from Christian Stelzer

November 23, 2011
St. Clement I
St. Columban
Blessed Agustin Pro

Dear Family of Mary!

I have transcribed the homily of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, given on November 17, 2011 at St. Stephens Cathedral. It is very moving. There is much to pray over in his words. (Remember this is a transcription of a talk translated into English from German. It may be a little rough, but it is so moving! You can also view it on our webpage, http://www.marytv.tv/.  )

The homily of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn:

Praised be Jesus Christ! May you always be praised!

Dear brothers and sisters, here in the Cathedral, via radio, television, all of you who are connected with us, united with us, dear brothers in the priesthood, in the deaconate, dear brothers and sisters from Croatia! --
There is a moment when the pilgrims go to Jerusalem, and that moment is one of the greatest moments of joy. It is like the pilgrims of Santiago of Compostela when they are on the Monte de Gozo - Mountain of Joy, after hundreds and perhaps thousands of kilometers, they see the aim of their pilgrimage for the first time. This is the same on the Mount of Olives when the pilgrims come and see Jerusalem for the first time from the Mount of Olives. This is the place where the pilgrims break out in jubilation and sing the Psalm "How I rejoiced when I heard them say 'Let us go unto the house of the Lord!' Our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem, great city, built so strongly and sturdily. To you all the peoples come!" (cf. Psalm 122)

Today is one of those moments. Like on the Monte de Gozo, from the Mount of Olives, when I look into the Cathedral, when we see all of you brothers and sisters from the presbytery here, we can only rejoice! How much did I rejoice when I was told we go together to the mountain of the Lord. Yes, how I rejoiced when I was told we may go on pilgrimage to the Mother of God, to come to her who comes to us, who is with us. To come to the Lord who is with us!

And Jesus bursts into tears...incomprehensible for the apostles and the disciples, now at the goal of the pilgrimage, with His gaze resting upon Jerusalem, Jesus breaks into tears, He cries. The tears of Jesus...

Here in front of us we see the Icon, the beloved Icon of Maria Posc. Why is it here? Because she cried. It is the miracle of tears. In 1697 in Eastern Hungary, Maria Posc. Floods of tears flowed for days from her eyes. Soldiers came and took the icon apart to look for the trick, the cheat. It was only the piece of wood, the painting, and she cried. She cried. The tears of Jesus... the tears of the Mother of God...

Why did Jesus cry over Jerusalem? Because they did not recognize the hour, the hour of their visitation, of their grace. The hour of grace. Because they didn't recognize what brings them peace, what is their happiness. Brothers and sisters...how is it today with Jesus? Is He crying over us? Is He crying over Austria? Over Europe? Is the Mother of God crying?

Brothers and sisters, sin, sin, sin is the reason He cries. Sin is the reason why Mary cries. Oh, had you only recognized what makes for peace, in what is your happiness. Sin is unhappiness. And it is being sold as happiness. You convince yourself that it is happiness and so it remains hidden before your eyes. How painful when we do not see any longer in what is our happiness, what truly brings us peace, what God wants to give us because He wants to make us happy. Grace, the grace He wishes to bestow on us and give to us.

Brothers and sisters, may we, should we, today, ask ourselves the question through the Gospel that the Church is presenting to us today? "Lord, am I today a reason for you for tears? Am I a reason for your crying? Am I the reason why you cry? Are we Christians the reason for you to shed tears? Do you have joy in me? Are you joyful with me, or am I for you a reason of sorrow and pain? We may ask ourselves this question. Do I bring joy to Jesus with my life? Can the Gospa be joyful about me and about my life?

Jesus did not remain with His tears. He didn't stop there. Jesus does not stop at the tears that He sheds over us. He doesn't stop at the tears that He sheds over us, over our sins. He walked down from that hill, down into Jerusalem. He walked into the city, into His beloved city, into the temple, the House of His Father. Instead of stopping at His tears, He gave His life. He went to the Mount of Olives and He took everything upon Himself, all our guilt, all our failure, all our sins, the sin of the Church, the sin of the world. He carried it all up onto the Cross. And therefore, we must never stop with our sins. We must go beyond and ask Jesus "What did You do with our sins? You changed them. You transformed them. You redeemed us from our sins. You gave us new life.

The reading from the book of the Maccabees, the Church loves this book because it puts before our eyes so clearly what the early Christians lived and what many Christians in communist countries lived, in persecution, bitter, torturous, cruel persecution. When King Antiochus wanted to erase the Jewish religion, he only wanted to allow a state religion, meaning a state cult, like the cult of Lenin, or Stalin, or Hitler. Nothing else was allowed to exist next to it. And many fell from their faith. Many adapted, compromised. Adapted to the times they were living in. "We have to go with the signs of the times, we have to be fashionable, modern. We have to get rid of these old burdens, this old stuff." This is how they joined with the pagans and sacrificed to the Gods. They became modern, very up to date for their time.

 But a few said, "No. We will stay with the Faith of our fathers. We will stay with the Faith we have been given. We will stay with the alliance that He made with us." They risked their lives for that. Two days ago we had the reading of the old Eleazar. At 87 years old, he preferred to give his life rather than give a bad example to the young people. We shall hear of the 7 sons of the mother who died the death of martyrdom, in order to stay faithful to the faith. We must ask ourselves what about our faith? How is our faith life? Have we adapted so much that we can be pushed right under the door, without a profile, without character, without edges, without strength? Many tell us we have to be fashionable, we have to be modern; we have to adapt to our times, that finally the church must be modern so that she can be accepted by the people of today, the modern people.

But what must we give up in order to be accepted? And will we truly be accepted when we have totally adapted? Is it not exactly the opposite, precisely the opposite? But the Church teaches us the story of the Maccabees, those who were faithful to Faith, those who did not adapt, those who kept the alliance with God. They were the ones who became the carriers of hope for the others. Of course, they paid the price of great suffering. This [is like the] testimonies of faith in our neighboring countries, the communist countries, the testimonies of faith in the times of the Nazis, and the testimonies of faith today.

Brothers and sisters, I will just give a little example, a small example. In a school in Vienna, in one high school, I was visiting the religion class and in the corridor a pupil talked to me. He said, "Mr. Cardinal, I have faith and I am very lonely here." That is the situation of many young Christians today in our country, in our midst, and it takes courage [for them] and [they] need strengthening, and [they] need intercession so that [these] young people who are living in a surrounding in which it is completely normal to adapt so that we live as is usual, that they may stand firm for the Faith and live according to the Faith. For to live that today, you need the courage of heroism like at the times of the Maccabees. That young man was not killed, nor did he kill anyone because that is not the path of a Christian. Mattathias did it, but that is not the path for a Christian. But apparently Heaven wants to strengthen us for something. Obviously the Mother of God wishes to strengthen and fortify her children in Faith, to give them courage to stand for the faith, to stand by the faith and to stand up for faith.

When the Mother of God sends such strong signs today, signs of her turning towards us, of her Motherly care for us and about us, so that she talks to us as children, beloved children, then she wishes to encourage us and give us the strength for that.

I could not be at the Youth Festival in Medjugorje this year, I could be there with the heart, with the many, many young people...Or the two million who drove to Madrid in the boiling heat of the summer, not to the beach (perhaps afterwards also) but in order to be with the Holy Father together, to listen to him, to hear him, and to pray with him. That is hope!! And the Lord rejoices about that, the Gospa rejoices about that. Over that she does not shed any tears. But all the same, we need the witness of the tears of Jesus.

Lord, when you look at me, when I look at you, I know that you have reason to cry about me, but I know also that you also came to free us from our sins. You died for us, for our sins and you wish to show us the burden and weight sin has, it cost You Your life. We are so precious to You that we cost You Your life. Gospa wishes that we, her beloved children, that we may be happy. Oh may you recognize what makes for peace. How many times does she speak of peace? She wishes that we would have peace, first in us, then among us between us. When the Lord now will renew His sacrifice in our midst, His giving up of Himself for every one of us, then we may ask Him, "Lord, grant me the grace to be the reason for your joy! Show me how I can be joy for You. Your mother shows us how we can be joy for You. She shows us through her path to peace. Amen."
(Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, St. Stephens Cathedral, November 17, 2011, Homily)

In Jesus and Mary!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2011

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