“Come Near My Children….” (Message of Our Lady of La Salette)
Dear Fathers and Brothers,
The initial words of Blessed Mother at La Salette resembled like a cradle song of a consoling mother who welcomed her children to her bountiful love. She was “inviting” them (Children) to the merciful love of heavenly Father. She set a soothing tone, particularly with her appearance and words, for the children who remained in distance, portraying the fear of whole humanity. A Person who “welcomed” the Word of God to her life to be a dwelling for the Son of God, leads the scene to be a ‘door’ to God and to our neighbor.
This process begins with the scene of Annunciation, wherein Mary responded to Gabriel’s announcement of her role in salvation history with perfect humility and faith, saying, “be it done unto me according to Thy Word.” With that statement, she welcomed God’s son into her very being in a perfect action of hospitality. Her openness removed the shadow that prevailed over the salvation history.
Mary’s “yes” to God at the Annunciation was the first step on a journey that would lead her on a series of unexpected adventures, not the least of which was to the foot of the Cross. Mary's “Yes” to Word of God motivated her to say “Yes” to humanity.
The Two occasions in the Gospel of John, the wedding feast at Cana and the foot of the cross, serve us examples of being open to the needs and wants of others. At Cana, by intervening in their life, she welcomed their needs as her own and she “welcomed” her Son Jesus to intervene like her and made a difference in the situation. At the foot of the cross, Mary was given John the apostle as her Son, and in turn, Mary was given mother to John. He said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home"( John 19:25-27). Mary was given a home by the disciple of Jesus.
Not surprisingly, this nesting process is heralded by Joseph, “When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife “(Mathew 1: 24). Joseph took Mary home; in fact, Mary was welcomed by Joseph.
Vatican II reminds us: “Taken up to heaven, she did not lay aside this salvific duty, but by her constant intercession continued to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties, until they are led into the happiness of their true home. This, however, is to be so understood that it neither takes away from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficaciousness of Christ the one Mediator” (Lumen Gentium, chapter 8, #62).
As we offer hospitality each day, we participate in the Christian work that was started with Mary’s “yes.” We continue to welcome Jesus, who begins from the bottom rung of the social ladder like the poor, the marginalized, and the suffering.
We, the priests, after the heart of Jesus, are called to welcome sinners and extend them merciful love of heavenly father by being available to all in confession and thereby offering them “the peaceful embrace of sacramental forgiveness”. Moreover, a religious must be “welcoming” in their character. A Religious has to intervene in the life of others like Mary and have to welcome all their situations of “needs” as their own and need to do what they can do to make a difference in the life of the people.
Rev. Fr. Sajive Maliakal MS
Rev. Fr. Sajive Maliakal MS
where to find us
Curia Provincialis - La Salette Sadhan
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