Fr. René Butler MS - 2nd Sunday of Easter -...
Telling the Story (2nd Sunday of Easter: Acts 5:12-16; Revelation 1:9-19; John 20:19-31) “Write down what you have seen, and what is happening, and what will happen afterwards.” Jesus says this to John in the first chapter of Revelation and, quite... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - The Easter Vigil - The...
The Empty Tomb (The Easter Vigil offers seven Old Testament readings, a New Testament reading, plus the Gospel. The Easter Sunday Mass also has options to choose from.) All four Gospels speak of women going to the tomb on Sunday morning and finding angels there... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - Palm Sunday - She who Weeps
She who Weeps (Palm Sunday: Isaiah 50:4-7; Philippians 2:6-11; Luke 22:14—23:56) The outline of the Passion is the same in all four Gospels but there are details that are unique to each one. For example, Luke alone records Jesus’ encounter with the... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 5th Sunday of Lent - The...
The Best is Yet to Come (5th Sunday of Lent: Isaiah 43:16-21; Philippians 3:8-14; John 8:1-11) St. Paul writes that he has accepted the loss of all things for the sake of Christ. What things? In the verses immediately before this passage, he states: “In... Czytaj więcej
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
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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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