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 - Pentecost Sunday - In Our Own Language

In Our Own Language

(Pentecost Sunday: Acts 2:1-11; 1 Corinthians 12:3-13 OR Romans 8:8-17; John 20:19-23 OR John 14:15-26)

After the coming down of the Holy Spirit upon them, the Apostles addressed an international audience, speaking Aramaic while people of different nationalities heard them speaking in their own languages. This, of course, was the work of the Spirit, a unique sign.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this sign had continued to our own day? But this particular manifestation of the gift of tongues seems to have been reserved to that one event. Today missionaries spend a long time learning languages in order to preach the Gospel. 

At international gatherings of La Salette Missionaries, I have often provided simultaneous translation, and I am keenly aware of how inadequate that can be at times. Finding the right turn of phrase on the fly is always a challenge.

Mary spoke two languages at La Salette. She started in French, and then at a certain point saw that the children were confused. She said, “Oh, you don’t understand? I’ll say it another way.” The rest of her discourse was in the local dialect, except for the final command to “Make it known.”

One would think that Mary might have anticipated this problem. But, as the sign of many tongues at Pentecost showed that the Gospel message was universal, the Beautiful Lady, through the sign of just two languages, showed that her message was likewise not restricted to one place.

As Fr. Marcel Schlewer, M.S. points out, Our Lady spoke her people’s language in more than one sense. In the local dialect, in fact, she spoke of the things that mattered in their life—blighted crops, famine and children dying—showing that these things mattered to her, too. This was her “mother tongue,” i.e. her speaking as a mother. She also spoke to their hearts through the language of tears.

It is not surprising that different aspects of the Apparition of Our Lady of La Salette speak to each of us in different ways. We are each unique, after all, and we might say that the Holy Spirit, as at Pentecost, was at work to ensure that each of us would hear Mary “in our own language.”

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