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In times of crisis, people need to pray and come together – Bishop

DOMINICA

On the Feast of Our Lady of La Salette, Sunday, September 19, Bishop Gabriel Malzaire of Roseau began his reflection by describing our Blessed Lady as God’s universal ambassador in times of crisis. He did so based on her role in God’s plan for salvation.

According to Bishop Malzaire, biblical evidence indicates that Mary existed for the sake of the Saviour of the world. His coming was not accidental; it was part of a predetermined divine plan.

“The Saviour, however, came into a world in crisis. Human beings had lost their way through repeated disobedience. In fact, the entire prophetic writings of the Hebrew scriptures give testimony to this. So, the world and its people were in a posture of disobedience. Yet, God’s unconditional love never failed. God’s plan was to save His people through His Son, born of a woman named Mary,” Bishop Malzaire said.

The bishop opined that through Mary, the world once again had a chance to turn to the way of obedience. Her apparitions throughout Christian history, including that of La Salette, Fatima in Portugal, Lourdes in France, and Guadalupe in Mexico, have always addressed the continued disobedience of humanity.

“God’s interest in our salvation is always consistent, and God has no plans to change this, simply because it is His very nature to save. But our God is a just God, and He will never impose Himself on us. He only requires our obedient cooperation in the process of our own salvation.”

The story of La Salette tells of two children, Maximin Giraud and Melanie Calvat who, on the evening of Saturday, September 19, 1846 (175 years ago), returned from the mountain where they had been minding cows.

They reported seeing “a beautiful lady” on Mount Sous-Les-Baisses, weeping bitterly. They described her as sitting with her elbows resting on her knees and her face buried in her hands. She was clothed in a white robe dotted with pearls, a gold-coloured apron, white shoes and roses about her feet and high headdress. Around her neck, she wore a crucifix suspended from a small chain. According to the account, she continued to weep even as she spoke to them.

The message of the Virgin was a call for the people of the whole world to return to God. She equated the people’s sinfulness to a harvest being spoilt.

Bishop Malzaire asserted that no-one can doubt that our world is in crisis. He said that many are still very distant from God, and they have no relationship with Him. “We are in crisis against an invisible enemy, which we can only fight as a collective, as a people. But are we involved in fighting that fight; and are we doing so together?” he asked.

In the advent of the Covid pandemic, the world has responded with much anxiety, fear, doubt and even anger. “In a situation such as this, one is bound to ask: where does God fit in all this?”

In the story of La Salette, like God, our Lady solicited the cooperation of the people of the village to bring about the required conversion that the world needed at the time.

Bishop Malzaire commented that God has always used human beings to cooperate with Him in the process of salvation: Abraham, Moses, the prophets, the kings, and many others.

“Today, He wishes to use our scientists, doctors, governments, and every ordinary citizen, to bring about the required change to this pandemic.”

The new creation which St Paul speaks of will not be realised if we remain a polarised people around the issue of vaccination and the adherence to the protocols, without taking positive steps towards the desired results, Bishop Malzaire said.

He encouraged all to “fight together” for the alleviation and elimination of this “terrible scourge”  by getting vaccinated.

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