Fr. René Butler MS - 22nd Ordinary Sunday -...
Lowest Place (22ndOrdinary Sunday: Sirach 3: 17-29; Hebrews 12:18-24; Luke 14:7-14) Appearing in the French Alps, Mary abided by the injunction of the first reading: “Humble yourself the more, the greater you are.” She did not choose the “lowest... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 21st Ordinary Sunday -...
Peaceful Fruit (21st Ordinary Sunday: Isaiah 66:18-21; Hebrews 12:5-13; Luke 13:22-30) The author of the Letter to the Hebrews displays common sense when he writes, “All discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain.” Who among us has not had this... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 20th Ordinary Sunday -...
Mary’s Jeremiad (20thOrdinary Sunday: Jeremiah 38:4-10; Hebrews 12:1-4; Luke 12:49-53) There is no such thing as an isaiad, or a hosead, or an ezekielad. A jeremiad, on the other hand, means a keen lament, of the kind typically found in Jeremiah. Not only is... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 19th Ordinary Sunday - The...
The Treasure of Faith (19thOrdinary Sunday: Wisdom 18:6-9; Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19; Luke 12:32-48) “Blessed the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.” This phrase from today’s Psalm finds an echo in our second... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 18th Ordinary Sunday -...
(18thOrdinary Sunday: Ecclesiastes 1:2, 2: 21-23; Col. 3:1-11; Luke 12:13-21) All the readings today caution us against greed and trusting in our possessions. St. Paul succinctly summarizes these thoughts: “Think of what is above, not of what is on... Czytaj więcej
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Fr. René Butler MS - 5th Ordinary Sunday - In Good Company

In Good Company

(5th Ordinary Sunday: Isaiah 6:1-8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 5:1-11) 

We have often observed in these reflections that Mélanie and Maximin, by reason of their social standing, lack of education, and personal character, were unlikely candidates for a heavenly revelation. Today’s readings show us that they were in good company.

“Woe is me, I am doomed!” cries Isaiah, aware of his unworthiness to witness God’s glory. St. Paul says he is “the least of the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle,” because of his history as a persecutor of the Church. And when St. Peter witnesses the miraculous catch of fish, his natural instinct is to tell Jesus to have nothing to do with a sinner like him.

This is not false humility; each one speaks the truth. At the same time, however, each one, once reassured, responds to the call that accompanied the experience. Isaiah volunteers his services: “Here I am, send me.” Peter and his companions left everything to follow Jesus. And Paul acknowledges how God has worked through him: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective. Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them; not I, however, but the grace of God that is with me.”

Like Isaiah, Paul, Peter, Maximin, and Mélanie, none of us deserves the place we have been given in God’s plan. We accomplish nothing on our own. “You built up strength within me,” the psalmist reminds us.

Jesus knew what he was doing that day on the Sea of Galilee. Mary knew what she was doing that day in the French Alps. Both needed good witnesses, and the most reliable witnesses are those who can’t possibly have made up the things they are saying, and have no reason to do so.

Right after responding to his call, Isaiah was told that the people would not listen to him. Some of Paul’s letters are devoted chiefly to correcting errors of doctrine or morals in the communities he founded. Peter’s flaws are well documented in all the Gospels. Mélanie and Maximin were sidelined when their mission was assumed by the Church. Failures? No.

Success is not a condition of sanctity. What counts is being faithful to the end, like them, in spite of the obstacles around us and within us.

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