Meditation for the Year of Vocations: The La...
The La Salette Missionary - A Prophet Do we have the courage today to call ourselves prophets? Mary comes to La Salette precisely in a prophetic spirit. Mary, like other prophets, loves her people and suffers when they turn away from God. Like the prophets, the... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 5th Ordinary Sunday -...
Weakness and Power (5th Ordinary Sunday: Isaiah 58:7-10; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; Matthew 5:13-16) In many cultures, people prefer to shed tears in private than where others can see them. Perhaps this is because tears are sometimes seen as a sign of weakness. From... Czytaj więcej
Year of Vocation - Missionaries of Our Lady of...
On September 19, 2019, on the 173th anniversary of  the Apparition of Our Blessed Mother at La Salette, the Congregation of Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette inaugurated the celebration of the Vocation Year, which will last until September 19,... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - Presentation of Jesus -...
Redeemed (Presentation of Jesus: Malachi 3:1-4; Hebrews 2:14-18; Luke 2:22-40) The author of the Letter to the Hebrews writes that Jesus “had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way.” There is a text in Galatians 4:4-5 that points in the... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 3rd Ordinary Sunday -...
Division Problem (3rd Ordinary Sunday: Isaiah 8:23—9:3; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13; Matthew 4:12-23) In the face of the confusion and even rivalry that we find reflected in our second reading, Paul goes to the heart of the matter: “Is Christ divided? Was... Czytaj więcej
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Fr. René Butler MS - Christ the King - Good Thieves

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 naked and powerless for all to see as they passed by. The insults of his enemies completed the scene.

Two real criminals, crucified with him, were in the same situation. One of them joined in the mockery. But the other’s compassion for Jesus moved him to faith, to which the Lord responded: “Today you will be with me in Paradise.”

In 1957 a condemned criminal named Jacques Fesch, 27 years old, wrote: “In five hours I will see Jesus. Our Lord is so good!” He knew the exact time, because he had been sentenced to die by the guillotine for a murder committed during a robbery in 1954.

Devotion to the Blessed Virgin was an essential part of his return to the faith he had abandoned in his teens. It was his lawyer, a committed Christian, who helped him to find his way back to God, so that, at the time of his death he had truly become a “good thief.” In 1993 he was officially recognized as a Servant of God. (This is the first step on the way to beatification and canonization.)

There are probably many other criminals whose conversion stories could inspire us to believe in the power of grace to save.

The clearest connection between today’s readings and La Salette is near the end of the text from Colossians, where Paul writes of reconciliation and peace. When Mary said to the children, “I am here to tell you great news,” this is surely what she had in mind.

The unusually large crucifix she wore, seven or eight inches long, was no adornment, but a reminder of her Son, to save us.

Earlier in Colossians we read: “He [God] delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” What better example of deliverance, redemption and forgiveness can we find than in the stories of two “good thieves” who died fixing their gaze and their hopes on Jesus?

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