Where Blessings Flow
(Feast of La Salette: Genesis 9:8-17; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; John 19:25-27)
Dear La Salette sisters and brothers, you are reading this on or about September 19, 2021, the 175th anniversary of the Apparition of Our Lady of La Salette. Unfortunately, the space we have is too small for us to say all that is in our hearts, but we do wish you an abundant share in the blessings flowing down from that Holy Mountain.
Those blessings find their source at Mount Calvary, the scene of the Gospel. There, Mary surely wept at the finger-pointing vindictiveness of Jesus’ enemies, whereas at La Salette her tears were caused by the abuse of his Name and the mockery of his Sacrament by her people. Which was worse?
Only one of Jesus’s disciples stood by her side. The rest fled in fear or, perhaps, disappointment. What ambitions of theirs were dashed that day? And yet it was he who had told them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35). The Blessed Virgin, who at the dawn of our salvation had called herself the handmaid of the Lord, now spoke of the pains she was taking on our behalf.
In the second reading, St. Paul writes, “We implore you, in Christ's name: be reconciled to God!” There is perhaps no other Scripture that echoes so powerfully at La Salette. Mary speaks of certain sins committed by her people, but these are examples. It was the evil inclination of the human heart that moved God first to destroy all mortals, but then to take pity and make a covenant of peace with them, in the first reading.
We all struggle at one time or another against pride, wrath, greed, and the rest of the deadly sins. If we are responsible for children, we try to form them, while they are still innocent, in the virtues of humility, patience, generosity, etc.; but we also know how important—and hard—it is to teach by example.
Reconciliation has a starting point in our life but it does not end there. Many times it needs to be renewed, by praying well and through the sacraments. We need never be discouraged, for there is a Beautiful Lady who joins her tears to her Son’s blood flowing down from Calvary, bringing the blessings of hope and mercy into the midst of our sinfulness.
Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.