Loved and Chosen
(6th Sunday of Easter: Acts 10:25-48; 1 John 4:7-10; John 15:9-17)
Jesus tells his disciples, “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain.” They already knew that, of course, but now, on the eve of his passion, it was an important reminder. The same words have resonated through the ages, to every generation of believers. That includes every one of us.
Maximin and Mélanie did not choose the Blessed Virgin. She chose them. Starting with them, her message, too, has borne fruit that will remain.
The choice is not exclusive. In today’s first reading, St. Peter and his companions, in the house of Cornelius, “were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit should have been poured out on the Gentiles also, for they could hear them speaking in tongues and glorifying God.” They could have no better confirmation of Peter’s words, “God shows no partiality.”
Thus, the words of today’s Psalm are true: “All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God.”
The Holy Spirit came as a gift, bringing gifts which the Church calls charisms. The charism of La Salette is not something we chose for ourselves. On the contrary, it drew us to itself. We are its ministers, proclaiming reconciliation to all the ends of the earth.
But let us not forget today’s other readings, all about love. When Jesus tells us to love one another, he provides the foundation and the model: “as I have loved you.” This means first that we must really believe he loves us, and accept his love. Then, we must strive to imitate it—a challenge echoed in the second reading.
One of the most beautiful love poems in literature begins with the words, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” If we listen to Jesus with our heart, can we hear him counting the ways he loves us?
As La Salettes, perhaps we need only look at the crucifix over the Beautiful Lady’s heart. On that holy mountain, she appeared at a time and in a place that needed a message of love and tender mercy.
So let our prayer be to accept God’s undying love, and to live it, glorifying God in word and deed, speaking in tongues of Love (with or without words).
Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.