See What Love!
(All Saints: Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14; 1 John 3:1‑3; Matthew 5:1-12)
There are two recurring themes in today’s readings: counting, and purity.
In Revelation we see two groups among the saved: one hundred forty-four thousand from the tribes of Israel, and then a multitude which no one could count. In 1 John, we are counted among (called) the children of God. And there is a list in the Gospel enumerating several beatitudes—a sort of manual of discipleship.
One of these reads, “Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.” John writes, “Everyone who has this hope... makes himself pure.” And in the first reading, the uncounted multitudes “have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
The Psalm unites the two themes in these words: “Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord? or who may stand in his holy place? One whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain.”
We desire to be counted among the “servants of God,” the term used in Revelation. If we are to be truly faithful in his service, we need to be clean of heart.
This notion is similar to that of pure gold; all impurities have been removed. In moral terms, it refers to the integrity of Christian life, the fullness of Christian love.
In our La Salette context, we can paraphrase St. John: See what love the Beautiful Lady has bestowed on us that she calls us her children, her people. In wearing the glowing image of her Son on her breast, she shows us God’s boundless mercy. Like all of today’s readings, she offers us a bright hope, which, however, is based upon one primary expectation: submission, which she also calls conversion.
This need not discourage us or, worse, lead to scrupulosity. Still, it calls for serious commitment to the person of Jesus Christ and the practice of our faith, humble acceptance of Church teaching, and honest examination of conscience.
St. John tells us that we shall see God as he really is. Let it be our prayer that, with a meek and humble heart, we may have the sure hope of being counted among those who seek God’s loving face.
Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.