Yesterday I was on London’s Oxford Street where one always stumbles across some pretty extreme preachers.
“Give your life to Jesus or burn in the lake of fire” read one of the posters while further up the street a man walked about with “why are you all Satan’s cattle?”
And this I contrasted with the beautiful Medjugorje day of healing that we had earlier that morning!
Our Lady never says things like “repent or burn’ nor does she insult people and yet what she does do is she cries and prays for the conversion of those ‘who have not yet experienced God’s love’.
She understands that without some sort of conversion experience that one simply can’t give their life to Jesus.
There is so much information out there and so many different theories about God that unless people receive some sort of grace they can’t simply say “Jesus is God and the rest is all lies”
And this is why she asks us to pray and to witness as best we can the Christian life to others so that we may be that grace and that by looking at us others will say “those guys have got something” and then come to believe.
This is why time and time again Our Lady is calling for prayer and conversion of the heart because this is how she desires us to evangelise.
As our hearts get converted and feel God’s love then this will flow out on others and we can talk to them about God with love and conviction and sincerity.
We can of course tell people about hell and purgatory too but not in an evil sort of a way that puts ourselves above others but rather in a sad and sincere sort of a way that souls will be lost.
Of course these people that threaten hell aren’t bad people either and while their approach falls well short of perfect love and charity, their hearts are in the right place and their belief and courage to talk so publicly about Jesus is admirable.
Nonetheless in these times Our Lady isn’t so much asking us to stand on the streets and preach about hell but she is asking us all to love like Jesus and to let our love and our actions do the talking.
When we put love first, opportunities then open up naturally for us to share about our faith and our beliefs and while we need not shout and roar about it we can say firmly and resolutely that we believe in Jesus and that he is the way, the truth and the life.
So let’s be very careful not to take any delight in hell as if somehow we could never have gone there ourselves because only by grace are we saved.
Similarly let us not judge anyone or presume that they will go to hell because Jesus gives some people extraordinary graces of conversion on their deathbeds just as he did with the good thief on the cross.
Each soul is infinitely precious to Jesus and Jesus does not allow any soul to go to hell without pleading with them to accept his salvation and pleading with us to pray for them.
Let us remind ourselves every day of all the graces we have received in our own lives and from this place of truth and humility let us pray for those who “have not yet experienced the love of God”.
Our Lady of Medjugorje, teach us to pray and to be your apostles of love.