Monday, October 18, 2010

Your Friends Make Known, O LORD, The Glorious Splendor Of Your Kingdom.

Feast of Saint Luke, evangelist
Reading I
2 Timothy 4:10-17b
Demas, enamored of the present world,
deserted me and went to Thessalonica,
Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia.
Luke is the only one with me.
Get Mark and bring him with you,
for he is helpful to me in the ministry.
I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus.
When you come, bring the cloak
I left with Carpus in Troas,
the papyrus rolls, and especially the parchments.

Alexander the coppersmith did me a great deal of harm;
the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.
You too be on guard against him,
for he has strongly resisted our preaching.

At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf,
but everyone deserted me.
May it not be held against them!
But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength,
so that through me the proclamation might be completed
and all the Gentiles might hear it.
+++    +++    +++    +++
Psalm 145
R. Your friends make known, O Lord,
the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord,
the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord,
the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord,
the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
+++    +++    +++    +++   
Luke 10:1-9
The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter,
first say, ‘Peace to this household.’
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink
what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’”
Saint André Bessette

Brother André Bessette, C.S.C., was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 17, 2010.

Brother André expressed a saint’s faith by a lifelong devotion to St. Joseph.

Sickness and weakness dogged André from birth. He was the eighth of 12 children born to a French Canadian couple near Montreal. Adopted at 12, when both parents had died, he became a farmhand. Various trades followed: shoemaker, baker, blacksmith—all failures. He was a factory worker in the United States during the boom times of the Civil War.

At 25, he applied for entrance into the Congregation of the Holy Cross. After a year’s novitiate, he was not admitted because of his weak health. But with an extension and the urging of Bishop Bourget, he was finally received. He was given the humble job of doorkeeper at Notre Dame College in Montreal, with additional duties as sacristan, laundry worker and messenger. “When I joined this community, the superiors showed me the door, and I remained 40 years.”

In his little room near the door, he spent much of the night on his knees. On his windowsill, facing Mount Royal, was a small statue of St. Joseph, to whom he had been devoted since childhood. When asked about it he said, “Some day, St. Joseph is going to be honored in a very special way on Mount Royal!”

When he heard someone was ill, he visited to bring cheer and to pray with the sick person. He would rub the sick person lightly with oil taken from a lamp burning in the college chapel. Word of healing powers began to spread.

When an epidemic broke out at a nearby college, André volunteered to nurse. Not one person died. The trickle of sick people to his door became a flood. His superiors were uneasy; diocesan authorities were suspicious; doctors called him a quack. “I do not cure,” he said again and again. “St. Joseph cures.” In the end he needed four secretaries to handle the 80,000 letters he received each year.

For many years the Holy Cross authorities had tried to buy land on Mount Royal. Brother André and others climbed the steep hill and planted medals of St. Joseph. Suddenly, the owners yielded. André collected 200 dollars to build a small chapel and began receiving visitors there—smiling through long hours of listening, applying St. Joseph’s oil. Some were cured, some not. The pile of crutches, canes and braces grew.

The chapel also grew. By 1931 there were gleaming walls, but money ran out. “Put a statue of St. Joseph in the middle. If he wants a roof over his head, he’ll get it.” The magnificent Oratory on Mount Royal took 50 years to build. The sickly boy who could not hold a job died at 92.

He is buried at the Oratory.


Rubbing ailing limbs with oil or a medal? Planting a medal to buy land? Isn’t this superstition? Aren’t we long past that?

Superstitious people rely only on the “magic” of a word or action. Brother André’s oil and medals were authentic sacramentals of a simple, total faith in the Father who lets his saints help him bless his children.


“It is with the smallest brushes that the artist paints the most exquisitely beautiful pictures,”
Saint André Bessette.

Saint of the Day


Sarah in the tent said...

'bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas'

St Paul is preparing to die and asks for an old cloak. Was this some relic of Christ's life, or of Paul's own conversion? Are there any traditions about this cloak? Did Paul wear it on a special occasion, or keep it safe somewhere?

Are Mark and Luke THE Mark and Luke? Perhaps the scrolls Paul asks for are Torah scrolls for the two evangelists to consult. Perhaps the parchments are a kind of Q - preliminary Gospel writings that people think might underlie the synoptics. Maybe the argument with Alexander the coppersmith made Paul decide to have definitive Gospels written, firmly based on what had already been written. Maybe Paul had even wanted this Alexander to write a copper scroll version of the Gospel, but Alexander had had his own ideas.

I see Paul here as utterly dedicated to the truth of the Gospel, right to the end.

Fr. John L. Sullivan said...

Sarah, your first question is one that has raised questions and caused comments by scripture scholars in every age of the Church.

The Greek «ton phelonê» is translated "the cloak" in the KJV and the Douay-Rheims versions of 2 Timothy. Neither translators nor commentators of that time (e.g. Adam Clarke, John Gill, Matthew Henry) are not agreed on how it should be translated: Some take it to be a dignified robe, such as the consuls or senators wore; some, take it to be a coarser garment, to be worn in cold and rainy weather. Others think it was a kind of desk or écritoire, or a portfolio for papers and books.

As to your second question: Mark and Luke are indeed THE Mark and Luke, both of whom, like Timothy, were companions of Paul during his missionary journeys.

Alexander the Coppersmith was an opponent of Paul's preaching, perhaps the one who is mentioned in 1 Tim 1:20. Despite Paul's abandonment by his friends in the province of Asia, the divine assistance brought this first trial to a successful issue, even to the point of making the gospel message known to those who participated in or witnessed the trial (2 Tim 4:16-17).

As you say in conclusion, Sarah, Paul is dedicated to the gospel, right to the end.

Sarah in the tent said...

Thank you father. I checked the reports about the opening of Paul's tomb and, apart from some bone, there were also the remains of a very costly purple and gold garment. I wonder if this was the cloak he sent for!

Maybe it was a gift from his father - like Joseph's coat - and he wanted to be buried in it ...

.. Or maybe I have too much imagination!