Fr. René Butler MS - 1st Sunday of Advent - The...
The Tipping Point (1st Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 2:1-5; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 23:37-44) “I snatched up the book, opened it, and in silence read the paragraph on which my eyes first fell: ‘not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and lust,... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - Christ the King - Good...
Good Thieves (Christ the King: 2 Samuel 5:1-3; Colossians 1:12-20; Luke 23:35-43) Crucifixion was designed to inflict capital punishment with maximum pain and humiliation. Jesus, falsely condemned as a criminal, had been brutally scourged, and was now displayed... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 33rd Ordinary Sunday - The...
The Name (33rd Ordinary Sunday: Malachi 3:19-20; 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12; Luke 21:5-19) In 2008 a letter was sent from the Vatican to all bishops, concerning the use of the Hebrew name of God (written with the four letters YHWH). It points out that among the... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 32nd Ordinary Sunday -...
Context is Everything (32nd Ordinary Sunday: 2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:16—3:5; Luke 20:27-38) If you have time, read the entire sixth and seventh chapters of 2 Maccabees. That will not only make better sense of the story of the heroic... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 31st Ordinary Sunday -...
Glorify the Lord with me (31st Ordinary Sunday: Wisdom 11:22—12:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:11—2:2; Luke 19:1-10) The author of Wisdom says to God, “You have mercy on all, because you can do all things; and you overlook people's sins that they may... Czytaj więcej
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Fr. René Butler MS - 22nd Ordinary Sunday - Lowest Place

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 place,” geographically speaking. She did, however, associate herself with lowly people—not just two ignorant children, but generally speaking with the people of the locality. 

Life in the mountains has never been easy. That year, 1846, had been harder than usual. With both the wheat and potato harvests blighted, the locals were rightly alarmed. Meanwhile, farmers in other areas with good crops began to hoard them, raising the prices beyond the means of the poor. Even Mr. Giraud, Maximin’s father, who was slightly better off than some of his neighbors, was worried.

Our standard of living is important to us. As much as we admire St. Francis of Assisi or other saints for deliberately embracing poverty as a way of life, few of us are drawn to imitate them.

We might, under certain circumstances, be willing to accept a certain decline in our fortunes. But we would not spontaneously “take the lowest place.” Even people who decide to live more simply are usually in a position to guarantee that their desires and needs will be met.

Mélanie came from a desperately poor family. Her parents really had no choice when they sent her out. from the age of eight, to work on the farms in the region of Corps, making for one less mouth to feed, at least in the summer. Their house was at the far end of the poorest street in town, the lowest place. In a bigger city, it would have been a slum.

By choosing her, the Blessed Virgin in a sense lifted her out of that world, bestowed a dignity upon her that should could never have achieved otherwise. Who could have expected that her name would be remembered over 100 years after her death? 

Mélanie did not become rich. She relied on the kindness of others throughout her life. She could apply to herself the words of the Magnificat: ”He has looked with favor on his lowly servant.” Had she not been so lowly, she might never have been chosen.

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