Fr. René Butler MS - 21st Ordinary Sunday - The...
The Key (21st Ordinary Sunday: Isaiah 22:19-23; Romans 11:33-36; Matthew 16:13-20) As usual, there is a clear connection between the first reading and the Gospel. It lies in the symbolism of keys. Eliakim will be given Shebna’s keys; Jesus entrusts the... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 20th Ordinary Sunday - A...
A Universal Message (20th Ordinary Sunday: Isaiah 56:1-7; Romans 11:13-32; Matthew 15:21-28) For reasons that are not immediately clear, Jesus’ mission did not include the gentiles, though he did respond to the prayer of a Roman Centurion (Matthew 8:5-13)... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 19th Ordinary Sunday - I...
I will Hear (19th Ordinary Sunday: 1 Kings 19:9-13; Romans 9:1-5;  Matthew 14:22-33) The story of Elijah in the cave almost gives the impression that it came as a surprise that God would come to him in “a tiny whispering sound.” After all,... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 17th Ordinary Sunday -...
Share the Wealth (17th Ordinary Sunday: 1 Kings 3:5-12; Romans 8:28-30;  Matthew 13:44-52) When we say we love something—a favorite food or sport or music—it is simply a way of saying we take special delight in it. It is not quite the... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 18th Ordinary Sunday -...
Come, Listen, Live (18th Ordinary Sunday: Isaiah 55:1-3; Romans 8:35-39;  Matthew 14:13-21) “Come, without paying and without cost,” says Isaiah as he promises an abundance of food and drink. What could be more appealing?  At La... Czytaj więcej
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Items filtered by date: June 2020

True Praise

(14th Ordinary Sunday: Zechariah 9:9-10; Romans 8:9-13; Matthew 11:25-30)

Matthew, Mark and Luke all report—twice each—that Jesus made it a condition of discipleship that we must take up our cross and follow him. We heard one of those speeches in last week’s Gospel.

Only Matthew records the invitation we receive today, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest... For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” 

We prefer this passage, naturally, if only because it reminds us of Mary’s words to Mélanie and Maximin. But there is no contradiction between the two sayings. If we follow the Lord with all our heart, no cross will be too heavy or too bitter, even if it is our own fallen and disordered nature.

The beginning of today’s Gospel provides the context for the invitation quoted above. Jesus says, “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones.”

The Father, through Jesus, invites the humble to enter into communion with him.

Notice how Jesus begins, “I give praise to you.” We find much praising today, especially in the  first reading and psalm: rejoice, shout for joy, extol, bless, praise God’s name—along with reasons: the King of peace is coming; “The Lord is good to all and compassionate toward all his works.”

The Beautiful Lady of La Salette, in praying ceaselessly for her people, is asking her Son to show us compassion and, in coming to us, is asking us to turn our lives over to him, with all our burdens, and worship him.

St. Paul reminds us that we are “in the Spirit.” That is why we can live in sure and certain hope of being heard by the Lord. It is the Spirit also that prompts us, whom Jesus calls “little ones,” to give praise that is truly acceptable to God as we recognize the blessings great and small that he bestows on us.

Praise is more than a matter of words. The wonder and gratitude that inspire it will lead us to seek God’s will for us, and to carry it out with open and full hearts, minds and souls. 

Wayne Vanasse and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)

Children of Light

(13th Ordinary Sunday: 2 Kings 4:8-16; Romans 6:3-11;  Matthew 10: 37-42)

I wonder if Jesus was thinking of the story of Elisha and the woman of Shunem when he said, “Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward.”

He himself makes several promises in today’s Gospel, and he confirms the last one with the words, “Amen, I say to you.” In the New Testament, this expression occurs almost eighty times, always on the lips of Jesus.

The Psalmist also makes a promise: “Through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.” Can we make the same claim?

A Beautiful Lady came to a place called La Salette because God’s faithfulness was, in fact, not being proclaimed by her people. It had been largely forgotten. She proclaimed it by her words, which included warnings and promises, and more effectively by the crucifix that she wore.

You have heard many times that the shining crucifix seemed to be the source of the light in which Mary appeared and which enfolded the children as they stood close to her. It is as if she came to “announce the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (Gospel acclamation).

The great La Salette scholar Fr. Jean Stern, M.S. writes: “Everything this Lady is, including her compassion, goodness and power, comes from elsewhere, from her Son, from the crucified one who is truly her Son, but who is, first, God from true God.”

Jesus is the source of light. Mary draws us to him. Like St. Paul, she does not want us to be unaware of the relationship we have with Christ Jesus as a result of our baptism.

Walking “in the light of his countenance,” we receive the gift of knowledge to help interpret our age, and the gift of understanding and wisdom, to conduct ourselves in right action, which might be “credited” to us as righteousness (see Romans 4:22). 

Or, in the words of today’s opening prayer: “O God, who through the grace of adoption chose us to be children of light, grant, we pray, that we may not be wrapped in the darkness of error but always be seen to stand in the bright light of truth.”

Wayne Vanasse and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)

Enemies no More

(12th Ordinary Sunday:  Jeremiah 20:10-13; Rom. 5:12-15;  Matthew 10: 26-33) 

Do you have enemies? We all know persons who dislike us, who may bear a resentment against us. But enemies seek our harm and rejoice in our downfall. It is easy to wish the same upon them, as Jeremiah does.

He prays, “O Lord of hosts, you who test the just, who probe mind and heart, let me witness the vengeance you take on them, for to you I have entrusted my cause.” It is a prayer for justice, but the vindication he seeks involves the punishment of his enemies.

Today’s responsorial consists of eight verses selected from Psalm 69. If you read all thirty-seven verses, you will find a series of curses. Here is just one: “Make their eyes so dim they cannot see; keep their backs ever feeble.”

As human beings, we can understand such a reaction on the part of victims of injustice. As Christians, however, we cannot forget Jesus’ commandment: “Love your enemies.” In today’s Gospel, speaking of persecutions to come, he gently encourages us: “You are worth more than many sparrows.” Trust, not vengeance.

As members of the La Salette Family worldwide, we try to live by these principles, with a special concern for Reconciliation. Fighting the evils of the day means looking for ways to put a stop to enmity wherever it exists.

However, the cessation of hostilities is not enough. Reconciliation calls for healing. Our prayer should be “that enemies may speak to each other again, adversaries may join hands, and peoples seek to meet together” (Second Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation).

Today’s text from St. Paul states this powerfully: “But the gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ overflow for the many.”

He is referring to what he calls, earlier in this chapter, “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

That was the purpose of Mary’s Apparition at La Salette. The transformation brought about by Reconciliation is infinitely greater than the offense that made Reconciliation necessary. 

Wayne Vanasse and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)
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