Items filtered by date: January 2018

Urgent Message
(Third Sunday in Ordinary Time: Jonah 3:1-10; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1-14-20)
Over the centuries, well over a hundred dates have been predicted for the end of the world, by an interesting variety of persons: St. Martin of Tours, Pope Sylvester II, the artist Sandro Botticelli, Martin Luther, Christopher Columbus, and a host of other famous or unknown prognosticators. Not one of those prophecies has been fulfilled. The most recent date predicted was just four months ago!
Jonah enters into that category. He was a true prophet, sent by God, to proclaim to the Ninevites that their time was up. But in Chapter 4 of the Book of Jonah, the prophet blames God for sending him on a fool’s errand. He knew all along, he claims, that he would fail and God would relent of the punishment he had threatened.
St. Paul writes that time is running out. Mary at La Salette says: “If my people refuse to submit, I will be forced to let go the arm of my Son. It is so strong and so heavy, I can no longer hold it back.” Both seem to speak with a certain threatening urgency.
We can say that Mary at La Salette was hoping for the same sort of failure that Jonah suffered. She did not want her predictions of famine and the death of children to be fulfilled. She offered an alternative. It is never too late! Transformation is always possible.
Jesus begins his public ministry by proclaiming a time of fulfillment and calling people to repentance. There is nothing threatening about this. Still, Jesus is announcing the end of the world—as we know it! A time of transformation lies ahead. This is what St. Paul means when he writes that “the world in its present form is passing away.”
We have no way of knowing just why Simon, Andrew, James and John left everything to follow Jesus. One thing is certain: it was the end of their world as they had known it. Becoming disciples of Jesus dramatically changed them in every way imaginable.
For us, as for them, the encounter with Christ inevitably changes us, and not just once, but over and over. But sometimes we resist that change and need to be called or challenged yet again. That’s where the message of La Salette finds its place. It takes a Beautiful Lady, or someone who loves her, to make it known.

Published in MISSION (EN)

Translation
(Second Sunday in Ordinary Time: 1 Samuel 3:3-19; 1 Corinthians 6:13-20; John 1:35-42)
Three times in today’s Gospel, John tells us what a Hebrew word means. We can conclude, therefore, that his audience was not familiar with them, and that he considered it important or, at least, useful to know and understand them. There are many similar cases in the New Testament, most notably the cry of Jesus on the Cross: Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani (My God, my God, why have you forsaken me).
Our Lady of La Salette, observing that at one point the children appeared confused, said, “Don't you understand, my children? Let me find another way to say it.” Then she translated the previous sentence or two into their dialect, and continued speaking that way almost to the very end of her message. She, too, knew the importance of understanding.
In the first reading, old Eli explained to young Samuel the nature of the voice he was hearing, and the importance of listening to it. After that, the boy went on to become one of the greatest of God’s spokespersons, discerning and interpreting God’s will for the people and their rulers.
St. Paul, without using the word, deals with a different kind of translation, not from one language to another, but from theory to practice or, better, from faith to life. He reminds the Corinthians that they have become temples of the Holy Spirit, and must act accordingly. Elsewhere he writes that because of that same Spirit we can call God Abba. Even in modern Hebrew, that is the name by which children call their father.
At La Salette, the Beautiful Lady laments that her people have failed to translate their Christian heritage into a Christian way of life, that life which is sometimes called simply ’the Way’ in the Acts of the Apostles.
This reflection gives me the opportunity to thank three men in a special way. Brother Moisés Rueda, M.S., and Mr. Paul Dion, have been faithfully translating these reflections every week, respectively into Spanish and French; and Fr. Henryk Przeździecki, M.S., publishes them on the Internet. Together they make these reflections accessible to so many whom I cannot reach.
But you don’t really need to be a linguist to translate the message of La Salette. Just live it!

Published in MISSION (EN)
Go to top