Children of Light
(13th Ordinary Sunday: 2 Kings 4:8-16; Romans 6:3-11; Matthew 10: 37-42)
I wonder if Jesus was thinking of the story of Elisha and the woman of Shunem when he said, “Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward.”
He himself makes several promises in today’s Gospel, and he confirms the last one with the words, “Amen, I say to you.” In the New Testament, this expression occurs almost eighty times, always on the lips of Jesus.
The Psalmist also makes a promise: “Through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.” Can we make the same claim?
A Beautiful Lady came to a place called La Salette because God’s faithfulness was, in fact, not being proclaimed by her people. It had been largely forgotten. She proclaimed it by her words, which included warnings and promises, and more effectively by the crucifix that she wore.
You have heard many times that the shining crucifix seemed to be the source of the light in which Mary appeared and which enfolded the children as they stood close to her. It is as if she came to “announce the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (Gospel acclamation).
The great La Salette scholar Fr. Jean Stern, M.S. writes: “Everything this Lady is, including her compassion, goodness and power, comes from elsewhere, from her Son, from the crucified one who is truly her Son, but who is, first, God from true God.”
Jesus is the source of light. Mary draws us to him. Like St. Paul, she does not want us to be unaware of the relationship we have with Christ Jesus as a result of our baptism.
Walking “in the light of his countenance,” we receive the gift of knowledge to help interpret our age, and the gift of understanding and wisdom, to conduct ourselves in right action, which might be “credited” to us as righteousness (see Romans 4:22).
Or, in the words of today’s opening prayer: “O God, who through the grace of adoption chose us to be children of light, grant, we pray, that we may not be wrapped in the darkness of error but always be seen to stand in the bright light of truth.”
Wayne Vanasse and Fr. René Butler, M.S.