Fr. René Butler MS - 7th Ordinary Sunday -...
Transformed (7th Ordinary Sunday: 1 Samuel 26:2-23; 1 Corinthians 15:45-49; Luke 6:27-38)  The transforming power of God’s grace is wonderfully demonstrated by his forgiveness, eloquently described by the psalmist: “As far as the east is from the... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 6th Ordinary Sunday -...
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True Love and Tough (4th Ordinary Sunday: Jeremiah 1:4-19; 1 Corinthians 13; Luke 4:21-30)  “Patient, kind, not jealous, not pompous,” all of these qualities describe a love that can be called tenderness. Nothing could be further from the... Czytaj więcej
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Now you Know (3rd Ordinary Sunday: Nehemiah 8:2-10; 1 Cor. 12:12-30; Luke 1:1-4 and 4:14-21)  After Mélanie gave her account of the event that had occurred on the mountain, an elderly lady known as Mère Caron turned to her son and said, “And... Czytaj więcej
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P. René Butler MS - 1st Sunday of Advent - Be Vigilant at All Times

Be Vigilant at All Times

(1st Sunday of Advent: Jeremiah 33:14-16; 1 Thess. 3:12-4:2; Luke 21:25-36)

Vigilance is like attention or observation but adds an element of persistence and urgency. When we are vigilant, we are careful not to allow something to escape our notice. We are anxious to see what is coming, whether bad, so as to avoid it, or good, so as to embrace it. 

Beginning twenty verses before today’s text, Jesus predicts various dire events, emphasizing the hardships they will cause. After all that he adds: “When these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.”

This turns our expectation on its head. Can the bad be the harbinger of good? Can famine and the other troubles mentioned by Mary at La Salette, for example, actually lead to hope? The answer is yes, if we are vigilant enough to see not only the events, but their meaning.

The people around La Salette were vigilant, to be sure, but the signs they observed concerned the weather and its effects on their agriculture. They knew that famine was coming. But Our Lady points out that they had failed to understand the ‘warning,’ a year earlier, in a blight on the potatoes. “Instead, when you found the potatoes spoiled, you swore, and threw in my Son's name.”

The Day of the Lord can inspire hope or fear, depending on our attitude. In our reading from Jeremiah (a prophet of doom if ever there was one) we find “those days” to be all hope and joy. In 1 Thessalonians, St. Paul comments at length on it: “You yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night... Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober” (1 Thess. 5:2,6). 

In our second reading, St. Paul exhorts the Thessalonians, who are conducting themselves to please God, to “do so even more.” 

This too is a form of vigilance. The more intense our relationship with the Lord is, the more we will see what he intends. La Salette points us in that direction. So does the Church in this Advent season. We cannot fail to recognize Christmas when it comes, but we must not miss its deepest meaning.

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