Back to the Basics
(16th Ordinary Sunday: Wisdom 12:13-19; Romans 8:26-27; Matthew 13:24-43)
People learning about La Salette are puzzled when they read the words of the Beautiful Lady : “I gave you six days to work; I kept the seventh for myself, and they will not give it to me.” They rightly insist: it’s the Lord’s Day, not Mary’s.
This is true, but the problem is resolved by remembering the biblical nature and tone of her message. In the prophets and the psalms especially, we sometimes need to intuit who is speaking, to insert mentally, “Thus says the Lord.” This is also true, here, of Mary’s message.
Keeping holy the Lord’s Day is the Third Commandment. Our Lady alludes also to the Second, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain,” when she speaks of “the Name of my Son.”
Both find their foundation in the First Commandment: “I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. You shall not have other gods besides me.”
This has always been a struggle. We are easily enslaved by other gods.
This is why the author of Wisdom and the psalmist both celebrate God’s mercy and forgiveness. God “permits repentance,” because he is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in kindness and fidelity.”
The parables we read today all indicate that we are, individually and as Church, a work in progress. St. Paul urges us not to be discouraged. “The Spirit,” he writes, “comes to the aid of our weakness... And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.” In other words, he knows what is best for us.
The event and message of La Salette dovetail perfectly with this. We are challenged, in our weakness, to let the Spirit shine on our inmost hearts and do what he must to make God’s good seed take root and grow, like the mustard seed, to be large and fruitful.
Conversion, worship of our One True God, abiding trust in him—these are the ways La Salette teaches us to get back to the basics.
Wayne Vanasse and Fr. René Butler, M.S.