The Master’s Need
(Palm Sunday: Luke 19:28-40; Isaiah 50:4-7; Phil 2:6-11; Luke 22:14 to 23:56)
Following Jesus’ instruction, his disciples, when asked why they were taking the colt, answered, “The Master has need of it.”
What does the Master need from us? First and foremost, our very selves.
When Our Lady told Maximin and Mélanie to “make this known”, was she not saying, “The Master has need of you”? They, and no one else, were chosen to be the first to announce the La Salette message of conversion and reconciliation.
What resource, gift, or talent does the master need from us? For each it will be different, but there is much that we have in common. For example, we all receive the Body of Christ in the Eucharist. How then do we carry him into our personal world of family, friends, community and when possible, beyond?
Some of the Pharisees thought the crowd acclaiming Jesus was going too far. He answered, “If they keep silent, the stones will cry out!” We find at La Salette a similar extravagant prediction: “Rocks and stones will be turned into heaps of wheat,” proclaiming, as it were, God’s mercy toward those who return to him.
This is no time for silence. The Master has need of our voice, and will give us each our own “well-trained tongue” (first reading), so as to profess the glory of God and make ours the words of today’s Psalm: “I will proclaim your name to my brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will praise you.”
For many of us, this will not be easy, especially if we live in a society that is indifferent or even hostile to our faith.
In this context let us consider what Jesus said to Peter. “Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers.”
We know that Peter’s courage failed at a critical moment, but not his faith. Never excusing his cowardice, he turned back and in the Acts of the Apostles he boldly proclaimed the Good News and guided the first steps of the Church. The Master still needed him, as he still needs us—what a glorious, humbling thought!—to strengthen our brothers and sisters.
Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.