The Greatest Promise
(Easter: Readings from the Easter Vigil and the Sunday are too many to list)
In the fourth reading of the Easter Vigil, God says through Isaiah: “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great tenderness I will take you back. In an outburst of wrath, for a moment I hid my face from you; but with enduring love I take pity on you.”
Here is contained all the message of La Salette. Is any further commentary needed?
The phrase “outburst of wrath” may make us think of Mary’s words about “the arm of my Son.” But this reading also helps us to remember that in many other places in Scripture, God’s hand or arm is, in fact, extended in order to save.
After the reading about the crossing of the Red Sea, for example, we recite, in the song of Moses: “Your right hand, O Lord, magnificent in power, your right hand, O Lord, has shattered the enemy.”
And, at both the Vigil and the Sunday Mass, we pray the words of Psalm 118: “The right hand of the Lord has struck with power; the right hand of the Lord is exalted. I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.”
While God’s hand and arm demonstrate his power to save, his great tenderness and enduring love express his Will to do so. Even when God uses his power to punish his people, his love always prevails.
In the Gospels the question is raised, “Which Commandment is the greatest?” Today I would like to suggest, from a La Salette perspective, a different question.
First, let me give the answer: “Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, my love shall never leave you.” This quote from Isaiah is from the reading referenced at the beginning of this reflection.
Now, the question: Which Promise is the greatest?
Think about it. Is there any promise you would rather hear from God than this one? Is there anything about the Beautiful Lady and her message that is not founded on that promise?
And what greater proof is there of God’s fidelity to his promise than the resurrection of Jesus? On this day that the Lord has made, may you rejoice and be glad!
Fr. René Butler, M.S. and Wayne Vanasse