Making it Known
(7th Sunday of Easter: Acts 7:55-60; Revelation 22:12-20; John 17:20-26)
Most people cannot recite the whole message of Our Lady of La Salette, but they always remember the beginning: “Come closer, my children, don’t be afraid,” and the end: “Well, my children, you will make this known to all my people.”
Jesus prays in John’s Gospel: “Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they [my disciples] know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known.” In Revelation, Jesus himself is the one who provides the testimony that his disciples are to give.
A martyr is one who witnesses to Christ by giving up his life, like the deacon Stephen. He was a true witness, whereas his death sentence was obtained through false witnesses.
Jesus also prays that his disciples “may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me.” It may be too harsh to say that Christians sometimes give false witness, but we can surely speak of counter-witness.
The Beautiful Lady addresses that reality. Who are these Christians, whom she calls her people, but who hold the Lord’s name in such little respect; who will not give God the day he has chosen for himself; who treat Sunday like any other day of the week, and Lent like any other time of the year?
Let us be careful not to restrict this reflection only to the words Mary spoke. Just as in the Scriptures a list is never complete, so too, she could well have concluded this part of her message with a phrase Jesus used in commenting on the hypocrisy of the Pharisees: “And you do many such things” (Mark 7:13).
It is commonly said that actions speak louder than words. The same may be said of inaction. Thus, in the penitential rite of the Mass, we say, “I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.”
In every society, integrity is valued. Psalm 119:104 states, “I hate every false way.” La Salettecalls us to Christian wholeness. If we are to make the Gospel known we must live it; whatever is false among us, or within us, must be uprooted and cast away.