The Law of Reconciliation
(15thOrdinary Sunday: Deut. 30:10-14; Colossians 1:15-20; Luke 10:25-37)
We have a choice between two Responsorial Psalms today. Psalm 69 invites us to turn to God in times of trouble; Psalm 19 sings the praises of the Law of the Lord. Both speak to a La Salette heart.
The Beautiful Lady describes the behavior of her people at the prospect of famine: “When you found the potatoes spoiled, you swore, and threw in my Son's name.” In this situation, blasphemous language seems to have come to them more spontaneously than prayer.
The Law was one of God’s greatest gifts to his chosen people, a source of pride, even. The psalmist recognizes this in many other places, notably at the end of Psalm 147: “He has proclaimed his word to Jacob, his statutes and his ordinances to Israel. He has not done thus for any other nation; his ordinances he has not made known to them.” Moses makes an impassioned plea: “If only you would heed the voice of the Lord, your God, and keep his commandments and statutes.”
But Mary has seen that her people do not love God with all their heart, being, strength and mind.
Her remedy for this situation is presented in what today we would call a “multi-media” approach. There is the message, of course. But her tears say what words cannot. Light contrasts with the darkness she describes. And, most important of all, the crucifix she bears on her breast reminds us, as we read in St. Paul today, that God, through Jesus, chose “to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross.”
At the end of the Good Samaritan Parable, Jesus says: “Go and do likewise.” That is: “Ask not, then, Who is my neighbor? but, To whom can I be a neighbor?”
This is an invitation to go beyond the Law. The spirit of reconciliation is not confined to certain persons or to the observance of certain precepts.
The message of La Salette does not directly address the question of the “neighbor.” But when we contemplate this visit of the Blessed Virgin, coming to our aid and showing us the way, how could we fail to hear the invitation to go and do likewise?