For the past number of years, the Church has been “piecing together” or “pondering in her heart” the apparitions in Medjugorje. Lots of people are waiting with great anticipation for the official results of the Church’s investigation. The Holy Father remarked that it would be out soon. When “soon” is we do not know.

I had the great privilege to visit Medjugorje a little more than a year ago. I have not really followed actively the messages of our Lady in her apparitions. In my visit to Medjugorje, I must admit that I was not really very invested in the apparitions since the Church is still trying to wrap up their investigations, but what was really striking and powerful for me is that I have sensed incredible peace and serenity in the whole place. There’s no doubt that the Holy Spirit is present there in a very special way, transforming the hearts of so many people, bringing people closer and closer to God. This in itself is a miracle already! The long lines and queues for confessions, the powerful atmosphere of prayer and devotion especially during the Adoration and Benediction in the evenings, are incredible testimonies on how this place has become a light for the world and truly an encounter with the Divine. These are good enough reasons to visit Medjugorje.

I have met people who had radical change of hearts, powerful conversions that have made them better and loving husbands, wives, priests. I have also learned about vocations sprouted because of their visit to Medjugorje. If these “conversions” are happening, then how can we deny God’s abiding presence in that place regardless of the authenticity of the apparitions. I am not saying that proving the authenticity of the apparitions is not important, but equally important is the sacredness of the place that has already transformed many hearts to Christ!

“Piecing together” is crucial to our pilgrimage to holiness because it is only then we can truly discern God’s will for us; thus experience also the inner peace that we are longing for, which is key to the peace that we want for the world.

One of the best features of Medjugorje is what I mentioned earlier: the sacrament of confession. The confessional is the seat of peace because it is in there that we encounter the mercy of God in a very transformative and liberating way – and through that encounter not only make peace with God but also we make peace with ourselves and with others. You might be experiencing uncertainties right now, struggles that we feel beyond our strength to overcome, or we may be feeling as if the Lord has left us because we feel so alone and darkness fills our life – let us turn our gaze on Mary – she did not fully understand everything – but she remained hopeful because the Lord has always transformed her sorrow into joy. Our Lady of Peace, pray for us.