Welcoming the Word
(16thOrdinary Sunday: Genesis 18:1-10; Colossians 1:24-28; Luke 10:38-42)
“It is he whom we proclaim, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.” Three times Paul writes: everyone.Translations vary, but this is what the original Greek says.
Why this insistence? Because no one is to be excluded from hearing the Good News. Everyone must be given the opportunity to believe and to persevere in the faith, “holy, without blemish, and irreproachable,” as Paul writes in verse 22 of this same chapter.
This same idea is reflected somewhat in the Gospel story of Martha and Mary. Listening to the Word of God is “the better part,” the first priority. No one is to be deprived of it.
As you know, Our Lady of La Salette also added emphasis to her final words by repeating, “Well, my children, you will make this known to all my people.” On one occasion, Mélanie was asked how she understood this expression. Did it refer only to people of the local area? She answered, “I don’t know... Everybody, I suppose.”
She was right, of course. Today Mary’s words are known to all corners of the globe.
The Beautiful Lady had something important to tell the children, so she invited them to come closer to her. Their fear was dispelled and, drawn into her light, they were ready to hear her great news. “We drank her words,” they said.
La Salette has its opponents. That is unfortunate, but no one is obliged to believe in apparitions. What is tragic, however, is that in every age there have been those who try to stop the Gospel from being preached. Paul himself was in prison. From there he wrote, “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David: such is my gospel, for which I am suffering, even to the point of chains, like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained” (2 Timothy 2:8-9).
Hospitality (such as we see in Genesis and Luke today) means receiving others warmly and generously. If our Christian life reflects this attitude towards everyone, if, like Mary, we invite everyone to ‘come closer,’ perhaps we will help them to welcome the Word as well.