Secrets Revealed Daily at Medjugorje
During his homily in St. James Church, an Irish priest made mention of the Medjugorje secrets... but stressed it was important to recognise also that other secrets are shared with priests daily in Medjugorje during confessions. I had never looked at it that way before, and his remark gave me much to ponder on during the rest of my pilgrimage.
Another incident that I haven't stopped thinking about since returning home, happened when I made my own confession at Medjugorje. It was late in the evening, around 9:00pm when I set out to find an English-speaking priest. I wasn’t surprised that hardly a soul was about, as it was an extremely cold evening. The only confessional that had a light on was servicing a handful of Italian pilgrims – and then I noticed a small group of four or five women hovering outside a box further down the row of confessionals. The priest was just about to lock the door and finish for the night. The sign on the door indicated he spoke German and English, so I asked if he had time for my confession. One of the group quipped that the priest would probably be more than happy at hearing a man confess after listening to so many women!
The priest returned to the confessional and sat down again in his chair. I followed and closed the door and then asked him if he would mind if I stood, as I was unable to kneel with both knees on the kneeler in front of him. Even on one knee brought its problems.
Then the young German priest surprised me when he got up and told me to take his chair. I hesitated, but he insisted. It was a strange feeling. But what really surprised me was when the priest then knelt down on the penitential kneeler in front of me. I had expected him to stand. It was a complete role reversal, and I said to him, “This reminds me of the time Jesus knelt before his disciples to wash their feet.” The priest smiled and made the Sign of the Cross to begin hearing my confession.
This incident really brought home to me that it is Jesus, in all reality, we meet with when we confess our sins, and that the priest acts with the full authority of Jesus when we are blessed with absolution.
Jesus said, "Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord, and rightly, so I am. If I, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you should wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you. I tell you most solemnly, no servant is greater than his master, no messenger is greater than the man who sent him. Now that you know this, happiness will be yours if you behave accordingly" (John 13.12-17).