Fr. René Butler MS - 32nd Ordinary Sunday -...
Choose Wisdom (32nd Ordinary Sunday: Wisdom 6:12-16; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matt. 25:1-13) The parable of the foolish and wise virgins is a cautionary tale. Having failed to welcome the bridegroom on his arrival, the foolish ones are themselves no longer... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - All Saints - See What Love!
See What Love! (All Saints: Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14; 1 John 3:1‑3; Matthew 5:1-12) There are two recurring themes in today’s readings: counting, and purity. In Revelation we see two groups among the saved: one hundred forty-four thousand from the tribes of... Czytaj więcej
La Salette and Emmaus
La Salette and Emmaus September 2020 An Educational and Spiritual Journey toward Proximity, Closeness, and Empathy  The Evangelist Luke writes around the year 85 C.E. for a Greek community in Asia Minor. The community, at that time, was struggling with... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 30th Ordinary Sunday -...
Reputation (30th Ordinary Sunday: Exodus 22:20-26; 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10; Matthew 22:34-40) No one could ever accuse St. Paul of flattery. So, when he writes to the Thessalonians, “You became a model for all the believers,” he  must mean... Czytaj więcej
La Salette: from fear to trust
La Salette: from fear to trust November 2020 Do not be afraid… Nothing about the human existing is excluded from the Bible. Including the issues of fear and trust. Fear and trust: key words that determine the difference between simple... Czytaj więcej
prev
next

Sanctuaries most visited

Items filtered by date: July 2020

A Universal Message

(20th Ordinary Sunday: Isaiah 56:1-7; Romans 11:13-32; Matthew 15:21-28)

For reasons that are not immediately clear, Jesus’ mission did not include the gentiles, though he did respond to the prayer of a Roman Centurion (Matthew 8:5-13) and, in today’s Gospel, a Canaanite woman.

Earlier, when he sent the Twelve on their first missionary experience, he instructed them, “Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Only at the end of Matthew’s Gospel did he give them the command: “Go, make disciples of all nations.”

Over time, and after many persecutions, the Psalmist’s prayer, “May all the peoples praise you,” was heard. In every nation today, there are at least some persons who fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy, “Them I will bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer.”

Universality (being inclusive) is a challenge, however. There is a tendency in every group toward a certain exclusivity. In today’s Gospel the disciples want Jesus to do whatever it takes to make the Canaanite woman go away, not only, perhaps, because she is a gentile but also because she is a nuisance.

Have you ever found yourself trying to avoid uncomfortable situations, difficult people, unwanted appeals from someone in need, etc., etc.? It can be hard to maintain the inclusive spirit that is inherent in our mission of Reconciliation. 

St. Paul had in his day tried to exclude Christians from Judaism. Then, some early Jewish Christians wanted to exclude gentiles. Now Paul longs to bring the salvation of Christ to the Jews as he has to the gentiles.

This vision is echoed in the closing words of Mary’s message at La Salette, “You will make this known to all my people.” Today there are La Salette missions in 27 countries (and we continue to discover small La Salette shrines in other places), but that leaves us with well over 150 countries where La Salette is unknown. Compared to the spread of the Gospel, we have a long way to go!

The message has many elements, attracting different persons in different ways. This is true also of us messengers, individually unique but, together, universal.

Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)

I will Hear

(19th Ordinary Sunday: 1 Kings 19:9-13; Romans 9:1-5;  Matthew 14:22-33)

The story of Elijah in the cave almost gives the impression that it came as a surprise that God would come to him in “a tiny whispering sound.” After all, in other episodes of the prophet’s life, his relationship to the Lord had plenty to do with fire, and God took him up in a whirlwind.

There is no way to predict when or how God will speak to us. But Elijah stood before the Lord, attuned to his presence, ready to hear and serve.

St. Paul’s conversion is another instance of an unexpected encounter with the Lord. Eighteen hundred years later, no one could have anticipated that Mélanie Calvat and Maximin Giraud, with no religious training to speak of, would hear the word of God through the words of a Beautiful Lady.

Today’s Psalm describes a surprising encounter: “Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss.“ See how these are all intertwined, as they sum up the purpose of God’s interventions, and of Mary’s as well.

We live in a world where peace seems a lost cause, truth is no longer truth. Pilate’s famous question, “What is truth?” is all around us. Sadly, kindness sometimes seems opposed to truth, especially when truth is hard to bear. At La Salette, however, Mary was able to combine the truth of her message with the kindness of her voice and her tears.

Kindness, truth, justice, peace: these lie at the heart of our desire to be in harmony with God, and to live reconciling lives. But how do we achieve that goal? 

First, we must recognize and accept that there is no guarantee of success. Even St. Paul, faithful servant that he was, regretted his own failure. Sometimes there is a flicker of hope but, like Peter walking on the water, we can panic and hear Jesus saying to us, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Jesus went up on the mountain to pray. Elijah’s cave was at the mountain of God, Horeb. La Salette is in the Alps. Intense “God moments” are often described as peak experiences. But who are we to decide when, where or how the Lord will speak to us?

It is mostly in hindsight that we recognize God’s voice. When did you last hear it?

Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)

Share the Wealth

(17th Ordinary Sunday: 1 Kings 3:5-12; Romans 8:28-30;  Matthew 13:44-52)

When we say we love something—a favorite food or sport or music—it is simply a way of saying we take special delight in it.

It is not quite the same, however, when, in today’s Psalm, we say to the Lord, “I love your command more than gold, however fine.” How is this different? The answer lies in the possessive ‘your.’ The psalmist is not a lawyer who loves working out all the intricacies (and finding the loopholes) in the Law. The context here is his prayer, addressed to the God whom he loves.

In the Gospel, the first two parables make the point that the kingdom of heaven is of such surpassing value, that one should be willing “to sell all that he has” in order to acquire it. 

There is, however, an important difference between the treasure buried in the field and the kingdom of heaven. In the first case, the person who finds the treasure presumably keeps it to himself, or uses it to get even richer. 

But when it comes to the kingdom, whoever has acquired it and loves it, is drawn to share it.

The Bible is a veritable treasure-trove given to us by God. Do we love it? It provides a wealth of Wisdom, Knowledge, Commands and Precepts to lead us wisely. Do we love them? Along with all this, we have the Sacraments. Do we love these pearls of great price, held in possession by  the Community of Believers?

These weekly reflections are dedicated to those who love La Salette. Here, too, it is first and foremost our love for a certain Beautiful Lady, whom we call our Weeping Mother, and who came to remind us of the treasures that the Lord has placed at our disposal.

In the long version of today’s Gospel, Jesus asks, “Do you understand all these things?” It would be wonderful if we, like his disciples, could answer, “Yes.” We don’t need to be theologians and Scripture scholars.  The psalmist reminds us: “The revelation of your words sheds light, giving understanding to the simple.”

As with the kingdom of heaven, La Salette is not something we keep to ourselves. We are charged to make the message known to all her people.

Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)

Come, Listen, Live

(18th Ordinary Sunday: Isaiah 55:1-3; Romans 8:35-39;  Matthew 14:13-21)

“Come, without paying and without cost,” says Isaiah as he promises an abundance of food and drink. What could be more appealing? 

At La Salette, abundance is also promised—heaps of wheat and self-sown potatoes—on one condition: conversion. We prefer Isaiah.

But they are not different at all. Reading a few lines further in Isaiah, we find: “Heed me, and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare. Come to me heedfully, listen, that you may have life.” The prophet envisions a people that lives by God’s word. He is issuing a call to conversion, and states it more explicitly just a few verses after this reading: “Let the wicked forsake their way, and sinners their thoughts; let them turn to the Lord to find mercy.”

In the Gospel we find Isaiah’s vision fulfilled. People from many towns came to listen to Jesus. When his disciples suggested that the crowd be dismissed so they could buy food, he fed them without paying and without cost.

Jesus took the bread, said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to his disciples to distribute. This is not yet the Last Supper, but the connection is obvious.

It is not surprising, therefore, that we find the Sunday Eucharist mentioned by Our Lady at La Salette. It is where her people can encounter her Son, be fed by him, and find strength for their journey.

As individuals, communities and nations, it is inevitable that we will encounter crises and tragedies such as those listed by St. Paul in the second reading. 

Today’s entrance antiphon reflects such a time of trouble: “O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me! You are my rescuer, my help; O Lord, do not delay” (Ps. 70). The Beautiful Lady found no such attitude among her people. Instead of crying out to God, they blasphemed his name.

When we pray to the Lord from our heart, “You are my rescuer,” we trust that no force outside of ourselves will be able to separate us from the love of Christ. May he preserve us from ever turning away from him.

Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)

Back to the Basics

(16th Ordinary Sunday: Wisdom 12:13-19; Romans 8:26-27;  Matthew 13:24-43)

People learning about La Salette are puzzled when they read the words of the Beautiful Lady : “I gave you six days to work; I kept the seventh for myself, and they will not give it to me.” They rightly insist: it’s the Lord’s Day, not Mary’s. 

This is true, but the problem is resolved by remembering the biblical nature and tone of her message. In the prophets and the psalms especially, we sometimes need to intuit who is speaking, to insert mentally, “Thus says the Lord.” This is also true, here, of Mary’s message. 

Keeping holy the Lord’s Day is the Third Commandment. Our Lady alludes also to the Second, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain,” when she speaks of “the Name of my Son.”

Both find their foundation in the First Commandment: “I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. You shall not have other gods besides me.”

This has always been a struggle. We are easily enslaved by other gods.

This is why the author of Wisdom and the psalmist both celebrate God’s mercy and forgiveness. God “permits repentance,” because he is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in kindness and fidelity.”

The parables we read today all indicate that we are, individually and as Church, a work in progress. St. Paul urges us not to be discouraged. “The Spirit,” he writes, “comes to the aid of our weakness... And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.” In other words, he knows what is best for us.

The event and message of La Salette dovetail perfectly with this. We are challenged, in our weakness, to let the Spirit shine on our inmost hearts and do what he must to make God’s good seed take root and grow, like the mustard seed, to be large and fruitful.

Conversion, worship of our One True God, abiding trust in him—these are the ways La Salette teaches us to get back to the basics.

Wayne Vanasse and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)

Abundance

(15th Ordinary Sunday: Isaiah 55:10-11; Romans 8:18-23;  Matthew 13:1-23)

Fr. Paul Belhumeur, M.S. is passionate about nature and creation. He is also an avid gardener, and understands the importance of good soil, and even has his own all-natural recipe for it.

I asked him, therefore, to offer some thoughts on today’s readings.

In the first reading, he noted the image of God speaking through nature and comparing the word “that goes forth from my mouth” to the rain that makes the earth fertile and fruitful.

In the Psalm, God has greatly enriched the land, producing unimaginable abundance: “You have crowned the year with your bounty, and your paths overflow with a rich harvest; the untilled meadows overflow with it, and rejoicing clothes the hills.” In the Gospel, the seed is good, but needs the right soil.

Making the connection to La Salette, Fr. Paul sees God’s image in nature spoiled by sin; there is no abundance. But the image of Jesus shines on Mary’s breast, offering hope.

The long version of today’s Gospel includes a quotation from Isaiah: “Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and be converted, and I heal them.”

The message of La Salette is a response to that hardness of heart. To use the image of the garden, we may say that Our Lady is reminding her people of tools available for tending to the garden of the soul. 

We have the sacraments. Baptism waters the soil, Eucharist provides nutrients to enrich it, Reconciliation removes stones, thorns and other obstacles. 

Holy Mother Church provides additional  tools: Adoration, the Rosary, a great variety of devotions. Among them, let us not forget our La Salette novenas and prayers (at least an Our Father and a Hail Mary).

None of which will guarantee a bountiful harvest, literally or spiritually. That is the Lord’s work. But by his grace we can prepare our soil, so that the seed (the Word) may take root in our souls, making them fertile and fruitful, as we make Mary’s message known.

Wayne Vanasse and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)
Sign in with Google+ Subscribe on YouTube Subscribe to RSS Upload to Flickr

Missionaries in USA

Login >>> ELENCHUS

Go to top