On a pilgrimage to reach the goal is to win, it doesn’t matter who came first, usually there is also no special time limit but to reach the goal still means to win, to win against yourself, against adversities, against exhaustion, against pessimism, against obstacles among which many are internal. If we look at life as a pilgrimage at the end there is also victory. Our culture, despite having Christian roots, is still too prone to a pagan mindset of considering the end of this life as a tragedy, only as loss. Death is definitely a loss for this world and for those who were the closest to the deceased, it is a temporary physical goodbye but from a Christian perspective to die is to claim a victory, to escape all adversities and to finally receive the crown of righteousness (2 Tim 4, 7-8) to finally reach the values and ideals for which we strive our entire lives and to come and share master’s joy (Mt 25, 21). Our life is not oriented to last and finish in the framework of this world, this is not the most important part, the best is yet to come, but by this part here our eternity is decided, how and for what did we prepare our hearts because truly, for where your treasure is, there also will your heart be. (Mt 6, 21)
Therefore it is important what attitudes we take now, it is important what we strive for and what do we pursue, what we give priority to and what do we stand for, what do we defend, against what we don’t back of and consequentially what kind of relationships do we form and live with God and with people. That’s why discourse about values and ideals is so important, our hearts want to make sense, our hearts want something that is eternal and uprooted in eternity that’s why we cannot stay indifferent to all the concepts God reveals to us as his, that is where we come from and what we are going towards. Peace, joy, love, gentleness, truth, justice… is where we belong, to what our heart strives and where it belongs only if we listen to it well. And in that path of discovery and reaching the end goal we are not alone, besides God reaching to us himself, besides the fact that we can count with the help of the saints on our life pilgrimage we are given even more. One of us is given to us as an example, one of us has already attained what we all strive for, one of us is Full of Grace. Full of all those graces that are in God and to which we all strive for. Blessed Virgin Mary is the proof and the guarantee of our victory, she is a proof and a guarantee that the road to heaven, to eternal bliss, to permanent possession of all good that our hearts strive for from the beginning is open and possible for common mortal people. It is worth to take the Blessed Virgin Mary as a helper and protector on our own pilgrimage towards eternity, Full of Grace doesn’t decline any aspiration towards good and we are not talking just of some abstract spiritual good but by Mary and through Mary God’s interest for all aspects of our lives is manifested.
God fully entered into all daily aspects of Mary’s life, by her he also entered into all daily aspects of our lives, by his incarnation nothing that is ours he made foreign to himself and all that didn’t just happen once upon a time in Bethlehem, Nazareth and Jerusalem but is also repeated throughout the history. God is interested in us. Mary, as the first human who is fully glorified with God is still interested in us. Our Lady of Sinj is one of plain and obvious examples of it. She comes to help a small city of the small nation with a few defenders against the superior army is the middle of history that is chronologically distant from us who remember it and to the times of Mary’s earthly life and agency, on a call she comes to help. What significance does Sinj and its defenders have in the sea of world history? How many bigger and stronger armies and nations died and perished without much notice and importance? What does then devotion to Our Lady of Sinj and the miracle of Sinj teach us? Not that Croatian people would be a people of privilege by themselves but that Heaven is willing to help those who call upon it, that earthly principles and statistics don’t have the final say, that humans are eternal, and that God is interested in humans also in time and in the totality of their existence and being, that God is near, that his ears are attentive to our cry for mercy (Ps 130, 2) that he knows where our hearts are and that he cares about where our hearts are. Let us then check our hearts and renew our covenant, our fidelity to values that lead us into life, to ideals that lead us to eternity.
Sinj is not the only place in the world, it is not even the only place in Croatia where we have a record of God’s miraculous agency and of Mary’s miraculous presence and disposability to help us. The multitude of sanctuaries, testimonies, miraculous statutes and paintings confirms that God is really willing to be close to us and omnipresent, that he is willing to be among his people that Mary is willing to be present also on earth despite her heavenly glory, that Heavens and earth are connected. Let us then give our thanks for the God’s presence through Blessed Virgin Mary in all our heavenly and earthly needs. Let us make a step of trust towards God and the place he chose as a fountain of his grace here on earth so that we can come even closer on our way to the abundance of grace which God wants us to achieve and attain for eternity.