Resources and reflections on this weeks gospel are included here on the blog post as well as our weekly listing of other liturgical odds and ends.
You can listen to the podcast of this weeks programme HERE.
Interview with Milona Von Habsburg
On this weeks programme John has an interview with Milona Von Habsburg. Milona describes the fruits of living in the presence of God which grows from putting the Lord first in one's life and living the messages of Medjurgorje.
As the name would suggest Milona is a member of the former Imperial family of Habsburgs, to be precise Archduchess Monika-Ilona "Milona" Maria Carolina Stephanie Elisabeth Immacolata Benedicta Dominica is the eldest daughter of Archduke Joseph Arpád Benedikt Ferdinand Franz Maria Gabriel, a member of the Hungarian Palatine branch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. Milona is the niece of Otto von Habsburg, the eldest son of the last Emperor Charles I of Austria and IV of Hungary.
She shares her story of visiting Medjugorje in the 1980's and recalls that her father had taken their family to other apparition sites in Europe, like Fatima, but they had not made that big or deep an impression on her. But, when she and her relatives went to Medjugorje on a three-day pilgrimage when she was in her 20s, the effect of that brief visit on her was profound, even life-changing.
“I myself was privileged to have a personal encounter: After a long and tiring climb uphill, I looked down at the valley beneath me—and a presence came around me and covered me like a mantle. It felt like two eyes were looking deeply into me, into my very soul, and for the first time, I saw my entire life, and what it amounted to. There was no judgment at all, just total truth. Then, I was asked questions about how I lived my life thus far, and why I had fallen so short of what God wanted. At that point, I felt the great desire to give my whole life back to Him!’’
“After that unforgettable encounter, when I went back to the place where my family was staying, I felt so content—but, they were shocked at my appearance, because I looked completely transformed—not the same face and eyes at all. In fact, my mother was so moved at the sight of the ‘new me’ that she prayed, begging, ‘Yes, you can have her, but please give us some more time with her before you take her!’”
“And, right after that day, my faith became the most important aspect of my life. I couldn’t live without daily Mass! I ran to Confession, desperately needing to instantly get rid of what separated me from The One.”
In fact, it prompted her to eventually give up her high-flying and pampered life in Geneva to become a volunteer in Medjugorje, performing humble tasks like interpreting for Father Slavko and the six young Marian visionaries—Ivan, Ivanka, Jackov, Marija, Mirjana and Vicka—living there.
In recent years Milona started working for Mary's Meals, an organisation whose vision it is that every child receives one daily meal in their place of education and that all those who have more than they need, share with those who lack even the most basic things. Going to press 1,187,104 children receive Mary's meals every school day. €14.50 feeds a child for a whole school year because it is all local produce cooked by local volunteers. You can read more about this great organisation and donate to Mary's meals at their website HERE.
For countess who gave it all up, Medjugorje is in the heart
Gospel - Luke 19:1-10
"He entered Jericho and was passing through it. 2A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax-collector and was rich. 3He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycomore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. 5When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.’ 6So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. 7All who saw it began to grumble and said, ‘He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.’ 8Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, ‘Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.’ 9Then Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.’"
Reflections on this weeks gospel:
Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
The Path of Life
Liturgical odds & ends
Liturgy of the Hours - psalter week 3; 31st week in Ordinary time
Saints of the Week
October 31st - Bl Dominic Collins
November 1st - Solemnity of All Saints
November 2nd - Commemoration of All Souls
November 3rd - St Malachy
November 4th - St Charles Borremeo (First Friday)
November 5th - St Martin de Porres (First Saturday)