To All My People

A German interpretation of
Our Lady of La Salette
To all my people? What people? And what happened?

"Keep talking, because I’m here in this city, among these many people." This is the invitation that Paul received from Christ in a dream when he was faced with the opposition of the Jews to whom he spoke. They wondered what he was still doing in Corinth. This is where Paul will turn to the true people of God, those human beings whom Paul will awaken, helping them believe, spreading the seeds of the Gospel that God sows from all eternity.
Concerning Mary’s manner of engagement with her young witnesses, what first struck Melanie and Maximin, after they have overcome their initial fear, was the tenderness that emanated from “this mother (whom they supposed) was taking refuge in the mountains to weep because she was beaten by her own children." 
Mary’s attitude, her clothing, the crucifix, the blinding globe of light, the ornamental roses and chains – all contribute to reveal the nearness of a God who weeps over his children. As humans we certainly can empathize with that situation and her gentle loving presence.
So should we limit the message only to the words of the Beautiful Lady? Indeed, Mary of La Salette mentions the lack of response from Christians to the practices associated with the respect for God’s name, the need for daily prayer, observing Sunday rest, attendance at Sunday Mass, and the observance of Lenten practices. But she certainly does not promote a superficial observance of religious practices like the Pharisees... 
St. Paul by El Greco (1541-1614),
a painter and sculptor born in Crete,
 an architect of the Spanish Renaissance
Should we limit ourselves just to her words? In a progressive globalized society in crisis about the transmission of values, how do we begin speaking about the call of the living God "to all people", to a global family, to all her people?
The Good News of which Christians are custodians is not meant to be shared just by distributing a book. The only language that our loved ones and those to whom Christ sends us will be able to understand is not that of a teacher with lessons, but rather the credible testimony of our lives, our approachability, our solidarity, and our involvement in the life of the Church. Our witness may be as gently present as the “light silent sound,” the breeze in which God manifests himself to Elijah (1 Kings 19:12). Sometimes that is how God makes things happen. Are we sensitive and aware enough to be able to touch the heart of people who live in a world of deafening noise?
We should listen closely to what the Lord said to Paul in a dream about his mission: “Do not be afraid… for I am with you. No one will attack and harm you, for I have many people in this city.” (Paul) settled (in Corinth) for a year and a half and taught the word of God among them. (Acts 18:9-11)”
Our Lady of La Salette does not simply make us learn how to fill empty churches. Instead, like St. Paul, she wants us to establish the Church’s presence among her people – men and women, youth and children, on the home ground of their own lives. The Gospel is the living book of our lives and of their lives. 
In her final words, she left her people with a truly evangelical and important mission: "Well, my children, you will make this known to all my people!" Jesus gave a similar mandate: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. (Mt 29:19-20a)”
(Reprinted with permission from, “Les Annales,” March-April, 2012, pg. 9)

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