Dear Vassula – dear brothers & sisters.
I am thankful for the opportunity of being here together with you. When we opened our Center for Vassula years ago, she represented angles I was not familiar with, but I have learned to judge the tree by the fruit, and saw the fruit of repentance and new life in Christ in Danish people I deeply respected. The first pilgrimage I participated in was heart gripping and an eye-opener. I saw again the fruit and how people’s love for Christ was enflamed.
Paul prays for us: Ef 3,17-19: “ I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. “
To listen to testimonies around the tables. To pray together and to celebrate mass together in different styles and with all our different backgrounds is for me a trinitarian experience: God, you and me, where together we can get more of Christ’s love. Thank you, brothers and sisters.
St. John says: God is love.
The word love is a word that covers everything from the greatest selfishness to the greatest sacrifice. Everyone sings about it and everyone longs for it without always knowing what it is.
John 3:16 defines God’s love in more detail: “Thus, God loved…. that he gave his only-begotten son.”
God’s love is self-sacrifice – generous- courageous – risky. He gave himself to the whole world – without any assurance that we would ever say yes. God loved the world. Not just the righteous – faithful – holy – elect – those who are like us – but the world – all of humanity.
Result: so that anyone who believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Divine love is the way:
It is not enough with Consensus – Unity – Common Understanding – Sympathy – etc We are like the spokes in a wheel:The more we push the spokes together, the more crooked it all becomes.But the closer we get to the centre / hub – the closer we get to each other.
Problem: We have all a fallen nature, because of sin!
When man opened up to sin, the unity was broken – between us and God, with each other, and even with our self.
We are experts in covering up – to hide – to blame others – to compare – to classify!!- with the result that we need to feel superior etc.
Religious – we are the chosen people – grace to be a tool – turned to be superior.
National and racial conflicts – dehumanisation of the enemy that legitimate evil actions.
Political and economic – man reduced to production value and cost/benefit.
So, we need to confess our sins and temptations in order to see God’s love for us and each other.
And always remember the wheel principle
- Everything starts with the centre
- The unity is closest near the centre
- The better we understand each other and dare to trust each other, the further out we can reach and the bigger the wheel can be.
Frank Sinatra sang: I did it my way.
Sorry, for us there is no My way but only His way – God’s way.
Thank you Vassula for your courage – faithfulness to your calling, and thank you brothers and sisters for letting me be together with you, the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.
Pastor Jarle Tangstad