Mary, Reconciler of Sinners
: This talk was given as part of an eight-day retreat given on the Holy Mountain of La Salette by Bishop Jean Guy Rakotondravahatra, M.S. (1934-1996), Bishop of Ihosy, Madagascar, pages 39-41.
The Christian people, in an inspired intuition of piety, spontaneously invoked Our Lady of La Salette under the title, “Reconciler of sinners”. Official church documents make no mention of it among the titles it attributes to Mary. Let us, however, listen to what Vatican Council II teaches:
Bishop Jean Guy Rakotondravahatra, M.S. (1934-1996)
“The Father of mercies willed that the consent of the predestined mother should precede the Incarnation, so that just as a woman contributed to death, so also a woman should contribute to life.
This contrast was verified in outstanding fashion by the Mother of Jesus. She gave to the world that very Life which renews all things, and she was enriched by God with gifts befitting such a role... By thus consenting to the divine utterance, Mary, a daughter of Adam, became the mother of Jesus
. Embracing God’s saving will with a full heart and impeded by no sin, she devoted herself totally as a handmaid of the Lord to the person and work of her Son. In subordination to him and along with him, by the grace of Almighty God she served the mystery of redemption
” (Lumen Gentium,
#56 emphasis added).
To be sure, Christ alone is Savior, Christ alone is Mediator between God and humanity, and it is Christ who, by his blood, accomplished the work of reconciliation. St. Paul in Ephesians 2:13-17 says that Christ, by means of the cross, is our peace, our reconciliation. But another text of the same St. Paul says:
“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church, of which I am a minister in accordance with God’s stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God” (Colossians 1:24-25).
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