Memorial of St. John Baptist de la Salle
(Exodus 32:7-14; John 5:31-47)
Sometimes the language used to describe God in the Old Testament becomes disillusioning. Rather than the epitome of holiness, God is pictured like the warrior Achilles who allows the Greek army to flounder on the beaches of Troy as he sulks about not being given respect. Theologian Robert Barron recommends that we understand God’s anger ("snits," he writes) in the Old Testament as a symbol of His passion for justice. God’s outrage over the golden calf in the reading today, for instance, is to be taken as His alarm over the people’s pursuing wealth and power instead of the path of righteousness on which He has guided them.
St. John Baptist de la Salle reflects the righteousness of God. He gave up the fortune he inherited to found schools and an order of religious men to teach in them. When he died, he left behind a legacy of education that can dwarf any family treasury.