by Cimela Kidonakis
Two years ago I visited the Jordan River in Israel with my sister and our pilgrimage group. I was reflecting back on it today on the feast of St. John the Baptist. St. John spent many days baptizing people in the Jordan River. “I have baptized you with water; He will baptize you with the holy Spirit.”
Jordan River, Israel
Today is also my grandfather Papi Juan’s birthday, named after St. John. Before Papi Juan became a US citizen he pulled onions for a Texas ranch owner. One day the “migra” came and all the men scattered diving into ditches. My grandpa kept pulling onions. Immigration officers all chased the men but didn’t come back for my grandpa because they thought since he wasn’t running that he had papers. Soon after the US allowed people to enlist in the service even without papers. Because he enlisted he later was able to get his papers and prepare the way for all twelve kids to gain citizenship.
Today is also the 39th anniversary of when children from a small village in Medjugorje saw the Virgin Mary on a hill. Their story and Her messages of peace have brought millions of pilgrims to this remote village in Bosnia & Herzegovina! If you have never heard of Medjugorje, you can find out more by watching the movie Apparition Hill streaming now!
“Prepare the way of the Lord and to make straight his paths” spoken by St. John the Baptist in Matthew 3:3.
Our Lady Queen of Peace gave the following message on November 25, 1998, a day after the solemnity of St. John the Baptist and in the same spirit calls us to prepare our hearts for Jesus.
Today I call you to prepare yourselves for the coming of Jesus. In a special way, prepare your hearts.
May holy Confession be the first act of conversion for you and then, dear children, decide for holiness.
May your conversion and decision for holiness begin today and not tomorrow.
Little children, I call you all to the way of salvation and I desire to show you the way to Heaven.
That is why, little children, be mine and decide with me for holiness.
Little children, accept prayer with seriousness and pray, pray, pray.
Thank you for having responded to my call. ”