Fr. René Butler MS - 4th Sunday of Lent - Be...
Be Reconciled (4th Sunday of Lent: Joshua 5:9-12; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Luke 15:11-32) Today’s second reading is used also in the Mass in honor of Our Lady of La Salette, and is very dear to the heart of La Salette Missionaries. It describes our mission... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 3rd Sunday of Lent -...
Compare and Contrast (3rd Sunday of Lent: Exodus 3:1-15; 1 Corinthians 10:1-12; Luke 13:1-9)  At some point in our education, most of us have been given an assignment to analyze the similarities and differences between two or more authors, historical events,... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 2nd Sunday of Lent - God’s...
God’s Free Gift (2nd Sunday of Lent: Genesis 15:5-18; Philippians 3:17-4:1; Luke 9:28-36)  In the discussion of the value of faith and works, no text is more essential than Genesis 15:6: “Abram put his faith in the Lord, who credited it to him... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 1st Sunday of Lent -...
Profession of Faith (1st Sunday of Lent: Deuteronomy 26:4-10; Romans 10:8-13; Luke 4:1-13)  The harvest ritual prescribed by Moses includes a statement about God’s deliverance of his people from slavery. It takes the form of a historical record, but it is... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 8th Ordinary Sunday - The...
The Word: Spoken, Written, Lived (8th Ordinary Sunday: Sirach 27:4-7; 1 Corinthians 15:54-58; Luke 6:39-45)  Sirach is one of the Wisdom Books, full of common sense. Much of Jesus’ teaching falls in this same category. Thus we hear today two sayings that... Czytaj więcej
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P. René Butler MS - 3rd Sunday of Advent - Unafraid

Unafraid

(3rd Sunday of Advent: Zephaniah 3:14-18; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:10-18)

In some respects, the most important words spoken by the Beautiful Lady of La Salette were the first: “Come closer, children, don’t be afraid.” Without these, the rest of her message would never have been heard.

We love such assurances, because we need them. They abound in today’s Scriptures. Zephaniah: “Fear not... be not discouraged.” St. Paul: “Have no anxiety at all.” And our responsorial psalm, which is not from the Book of Psalms but from Isaiah 12: “I am confident and unafraid.”

In the Gospel John the Baptist encourages his listeners to be generous in sharing, to avoid greed, to be honest, to be satisfied with what they have. These are excellent ways to reduce stress and anxiety in life.

But then comes the shock. The Baptist adopts a more ominous tone in preaching about the one who is to come after him. “His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Luke then concludes, “Exhorting them in many other ways, he [John] preached good news to the people.” The Good News is not always pleasant news.

Any public speaker knows that you need to find diverse ways to reach people. The more diverse the audience—adults, teens and children, various cultures or levels of education, etc.—the more difficult that task is. There needs to be something for everyone.

The Blessed Virgin understood this. First she had to establish that she is on our side (“Don’t be afraid... How long a time I have suffered for you...”), and then she was free to say other things her people needed to hear. Some would respond more to her warnings, others to her promises, others again to her tears, or her concern for their well-being.

We often point out that Mary’s “great news” is like the “Good News,” not only in its content but even its style. Both can be demanding, even harsh to certain ears. Both confront us with choices.

None of this means we need to live in fear. Whether the call comes to us from the Scriptures or from La Salette, we can be confident and unafraid.

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