The homily of Fr. Stanko Cosic for the New Year’s Eve in Medjugorje

date: 03.01.2014.

Fr. Stanko Cosic celebrated Holy Mass for the New Year’s Eve in the packed church of St. James in Medjugorje. In his homily he spoke about how Christians need to look forward, how they need to fight against sins and weaknesses in the year that is here ahead of us. Here, we would like to bring his whole homily as it was given in that night: “Dear brothers and sisters, we are at the end of one calendar year, and I believe that you, as well as I do, look back at the events from the previous year. There were many beautiful things that took place, many things that one can rejoice for. But, somehow, we always have those thoughts coming to us, which point out those things that were not so good. Very often we have thoughts that point out the lack of success in thoughts, words, deeds and omissions. How many wrong habits and additions that one was trying to get rid of and failed to do that! Something that was taking place for years, something that I keep repeating after every confession, so many words that were not for construction, but instead have insulted other people! So many words that were rough and harsh, that condemned person next to us, even though there was no certainty that it was the truth the thing I accused them for. So much of conscious indifference towards life, towards those poor people next to us, that they do not give from surplus that they have, but obtain in selfishness all for themselves! So many white lies, just to appear nice and beautiful in someone else’s eyes, and perhaps that is not even the truth about oneself! So many calculations in relations with others, all in order to spend time and to achieve what we want and exactly from those people that we want. So many thefts – from those tiny things to those great ones! So much fear in opinion that those others might have right and could endanger my truth in that way! So much fear from different just to prevent me from being endangered from them! Thoughts and gazes that were full of lust, greed and in that way have insulted other people’s dignity. Thoughts that have places other person below human level. Not just by observing the personal life, but also by looking into what had happened in the world, we can see that it is obvious things were not so bright, that the number of poor people has not reduced, that famine has not disappeared, that there are still injustices and abuses all over the world. As we look back in that way, we cannot not wonder and ask ourselves, what kind of faith can lead me forward, into the new, because in this way, faith seems as it appeared in that scene of shipwreck when a man had only one piece of wood to keep him safe from the depths of the sea that carried death. Is that faith, only that one little piece of wood that I can lean on and not have anything else? How can a Christian look forward, what is the answer to that and is there any answer at all? Perhaps it is Jesus himself who gives what every man is seeking for. He came in the manger; he came in the moment when it was so hard for Joseph and Mary, in every way, outside and spiritually as well. He came when everything did not seem to be so bright. What was that that he did? He went forward. If we are here wondering how to fight against all weaknesses, sins, how to struggle in the New Year and how to make all better, maybe He has the answer. Perhaps it is even simpler than we think it is. Perhaps it is closer that any plan we desire to make and to achieve. Perhaps it is closer than any plan we desire to make. Perhaps we need to do what God did; perhaps we need to go forward, to start building friendships and relations. Perhaps we need to build relation with God the Father, who had revealed Himself in various ways in the human history and finally came to us in Son, only for one reason – to show men He was indeed the Father. Perhaps we need to build relationship with the Holy Spirit who desires to show us that exactly all of this that is sad, hard, every cross we have in our daily life, all of this in the world that is being destroyed are just labour pains that lead towards the new creation. That this world is not heading towards destruction but towards the renewal. That the Church, regardless of how weak and sinful it might be, is not the one that will be destroyed, but is heading towards the moment of being decorated Spouse of Christ. It is Holy Spirit that rejoices over our heart, rejoices every time we lose our strength and says: Abba, Father! In the moments when we do not believe God is our Father, Holy Spirit rejoices: You really are Father! Jesus Christ who came and showed us who is God, to man to whom God seemed so far and distant. Jesus, who whenever we say why this or that, or how this or that, responses and says: Father, you know! It is Jesus who showed us that journey towards the one to whom He believed, towards the Father, leads to life. Dear brothers and sisters, that journey, that response to God’s invitation is perhaps a key for man to open our heart and give it to others. How many are here tonight and why did we come here? We came to encounter each other, since it is Eucharistic table that brings us together. This Holy Mass did not begin 20 minutes ago, it began in the moments when we left our homes and became prepared to build new relationships, to meet people who are different. This journey towards the encounter delivers man from the fear that he alone needs to possess all of the truth, but also allows someone else to be right. It allows other and different opinion to be right, and perhaps I am the one who do not need to know all. Yet, the greatest and the most beautiful grace that we have when we enter into this New Year is the Blessed Virgin Mary. There was a recent case of the tennis player who had all his belongings stolen at the airport during the moments he was giving his autograph. Among all his stolen belongings were also rosary beads that he received from Pope Francis. He said: “Part of my life was taken away from me. It is impossible for me to think about this. It hurts me so much.” Then, he said to the theft: “I only have one desire - please give me back my rosary beads. It is rosary that I always carried with me. Take all other things, but please, please give me back my rosary beads.” Dear brothers and sisters, may our journey begin with the Blessed Virgin Mary, no one can show us in the better way who is God, and no one can bring us closer to Jesus but Her. On the other hand, Rosary as a simple devotion of faithful might be perhaps the strongest force that can teach us how to get up and to meet the one who came to meet us. Let us allow that we, through simple conversation with Our Lady, may become capable of growing in friendship with Jesus and, just as She pondered on all events from their lives, that we may do the same. Amen. “