Fr. René Butler MS - 14th Ordinary Sunday -...
Sufficient Grace (14th Ordinary Sunday: Ezekiel 2:2-5; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Mark 6:1-6) Most of us are willing to make sacrifices for a cause, or for others, perhaps even for our faith. But can we honestly say with St. Paul: “I am content with weaknesses,... Czytaj więcej
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Synodality...
Synodality: a way of life and ecclesial mission  June 2021 Following Christ to become an apostle The English word Synod comes from a Greek compound word. Literally, it derives from the Greek “syn” that means “together” and the Greek... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 12th Ordinary Sunday -...
Storms and Faith (12th Ordinary Sunday: Job 38:1, 8-11; 2 Corinthians 5:14-17; Mark 4:35-41) If we notice only the words God speaks to Job in the first reading, we can miss an important point: “The Lord addressed Job out of the storm.” God is not only... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 11th Ordinary Sunday -...
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Fr. René Butler MS - 30th Ordinary Sunday - Whole-truth Prayer

Whole-truth Prayer

(30th Ordinary Sunday: Sirach 35:12-18; 2 Timothy 4:6-18; Luke 18:9-14)

The Pharisee in today’s famous parable is not making anything up, but telling the truth about his good deeds: he has indeed gone above and beyond the call of duty.

The tax collector doesn’t list his sins. By the nature of his job as an agent of the hated Roman occupiers, he is a “public” sinner. That is enough for the Pharisee to draw the odious—and false—comparison between himself and the other man.

Our Lady of La Salette described her own unceasing prayer on our behalf. It is easy to imagine her taking the words of the tax collector and paraphrasing them: “O God, be merciful to them, sinners that they are.”

Last week’s readings helped us focus on prayer, on the need to pray always and well. This week adds another notion with respect to the quality of our prayer: honesty.

We hear today St. Paul’s celebrated words: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Isn’t he boasting, like the Pharisee? No, because time and time again he makes it clear that it is only by God’s grace that he has been able to accomplish anything. “To him be glory forever and ever,” he writes.

The Pharisee begins his prayer with “O God, I thank you,” but everything that follows shows that he is not really glorifying God but himself, and drawing the conclusion that he is better than others. His “truth” is not the “whole truth.”

When Mary reminds us of our faults, she isn’t saying that we are worse than anyone else. The only comparison to be made is with her Son. On her breast we see him crucified, suffering for our sake, and in our place.

The reading from Sirach, where we hear, “The Lord is not deaf to the wail of the orphan,” reminds me of a lovely 2010 song, “Better than a Hallelujah.” It begins:

   God loves a lullaby
   In a mother’s tears in the dead of night
   Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.

Surely God loves Mary’s tears at La Salette, soul-born, whole-truth tears shed for all her people.

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