Fr. René Butler MS - 3rd Sunday of Advent - What do you See?

What do you See?

(3rd Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 35:1-10; James 5:7-10; Matthew 11:2-11)

The notion of sight dominates today’s Scriptures. Isaiah: “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened;” the Psalm: “The Lord gives sight to the blind;” James: “See how the farmer waits...;” Matthew: “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight...,” and: “What did you go out to the desert to see?”

The meaning of the verb “to see” ranges from simple visual perception, to attentive observation, to intellectual understanding. That is how science works, isn’t it, as it seeks to reveal the mysteries of the universe?

There are, however, mysteries that science cannot reach. It is not equipped to explore the world of love, faith, the meaning of life. Here we need a different kind of revelation, the Word of God.

That is why we find so many quotations and paraphrases of the Old Testament in the New Testament. Jesus’ response to John’s disciples, for example, evokes various texts from Isaiah. James refers more broadly to the prophets. We are often reminded that Jesus came not to abolish the Law or the prophets, but to fulfill them (Matthew 5:17).

There is also what is known as private revelation. The apparition of Our Lady of La Salette, formally approved in 1851 by the Bishop of Grenoble, falls into that category. No one is obliged to believe in it; but for us who do, it sheds light on our relationship with the Lord, opens our hearts to contemplate his love, and helps us understand both the meaning and the concrete implications of the Christian life.

These weekly reflections might perhaps serve as an example. Through them we approach the Sunday readings from the perspective of the message and the event and, above all, of Mary herself.

Any one of us can do this. First, place yourself in her company, renewing your affection for her and remembering her affection for you. Recall to mind those elements of the apparition that have the most meaning for you. 

Then, look at the readings. Observe the resonance between them and La Salette. Ultimately the question is: when you look through the eyes of the Beautiful Lady, what do you see?

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