Saint Claude de la Colombiere – Readings


Saint Claude de la Colombiere – Commentary on Ephesians 3:8-9, 14-19; Ps 103; Matthew 11:25-30

The Scripture readings for today’s Mass reflect the common experience that Claude la Colombiere had with St Margaret Mary as her spiritual director.

The Gospel is a passage from Matthew’s gospel where Jesus thanks the Father for revealing his message not to the great ones of the world but to people who are of no social significance – his disciples. "Although you have hidden these things from the wise and learned you have revealed them to the child-like." Margaret Mary was certainly such a person, a simple nun living in the seclusion of her convent, known to hardly any one outside its walls. Claude, her adviser, was a more prominent person as the superior of a large Jesuit community and later as a chaplain in a royal court and yet he, too, was someone not widely known or of much influence. Again, Jesus says in today’s passage: "No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him." And indeed it was a unique privilege for Margaret Mary and through her, Claude la Colombiere, to share the revelations of the nature and greatness of God’s love extended to us through his Son, a love symbolised by his Heart on fire.

In the First Reading, from the Letter to the Ephesians, Paul speaks of the unique privilege he has been given to pass on to the Gentiles "the inscrutable riches of Christ". And what do those riches especially consist of? It is to have a first-hand knowledge of the love of God that has been revealed to us through Jesus. And so Paul prays that for the Ephesians (and all those to whom the letter was directed) "Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to grasp with all the saints [all the baptised] what is the breadth and length and height and depth, to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God". It was a knowledge of this love that Margaret Mary experienced and which Claude la Colombiere passed on through his life and preaching. It is a love which we, too, must constantly try to understand more deeply for our own enrichment and for the enrichment of the lives of all those with whom we relate. To understand this love is to know God because "God is love" and "wherever there is love, there is God".

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