August 4, 2020. Memorial of St. John Marie Vianney.
Jeremiah 30:1-2,12-15,18-22 ©
Your wound is incurable but I will heal you
The word addressed to Jeremiah by the Lord: the Lord, the God of Israel says this: Write all the words I have spoken to you in a book.
Yes, the Lord says this:
Your wound is incurable,
your injury past healing.
There is no one to care for your sore,
no medicine to make you well again.
All your lovers have forgotten you,
they look for you no more.
Yes, I have struck you as an enemy strikes,
with harsh punishment
so great is your guilt, so many your sins.
Why bother to complain about your wound?
Your pain is incurable.
So great is your guilt, so many your sins,
that I have done all this to you.
The Lord says this:
Now I will restore the tents of Jacob,
and take pity on his dwellings:
the city shall be rebuilt on its ruins,
the citadel restored on its site.
From them will come thanksgiving
and shouts of joy.
I will make them increase, and not diminish them,
make them honoured, and not disdained.
Their sons shall be as once they were,
their community fixed firm in my presence,
and I will punish all their oppressors.
Their prince will be one of their own,
their ruler come from their own people.
I will let him come freely into my presence
and he can come close to me;
who else, indeed, would risk his life
by coming close to me? – it is the Lord who speaks.
And you shall be my people and I will be your God.
Psalm 101(102):16-21,29,22-23 ©
The Lord shall build up Zion again and appear in all his glory.
Matthew 15:1-2,10-14 ©
Any plant my Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots
Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem came to Jesus and said, ‘Why do your disciples break away from the tradition of the elders? They do not wash their hands when they eat food.’ He called the people to him and said, ‘Listen, and understand. What goes into the mouth does not make a man unclean; it is what comes out of the mouth that makes him unclean.’
Then the disciples came to him and said, ‘Do you know that the Pharisees were shocked when they heard what you said?’ He replied, ‘Any plant my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them alone. They are blind men leading blind men; and if one blind man leads another, both will fall into a pit.’
Happy priest’s day! On this feast of St. John Marie Vianney, the patron saint of (parish) priests, we also thank and honor our priests for their sacrifice and work for us. It is only fitting that they be thanked and always prayed for. We do not know how difficult the trials which they face as the father of many people. They are responsible for the wellbeing of our souls. If we face many trials and temptations, how much more them? As part of one family of God, where they are our spiritual fathers who perform the duties of Jesus as high priest, they are truly worthy of our prayers.
In the Gospel today, Jesus speaks of blind guides. These are Pharisees who only care and believe in themselves. Indeed, it is difficult to lead people. We need to make sure that the person leading us comes from God to say what God wants to say to us. Because if not, he or she is also responsible to God.
Therefore we, as Christians, must know how powerful our words are. It has the power to bring people close to God or to lead them astray. Our word has the power to give hope or despair to people. It has the ability to give peace or distress. Therefore, it is important for a person, especially if it is included in his service to God, to have a steady, regular and healthy prayer life. These cannot be separated.
Without prayer, little to no grace could come from God. To receive the Lord’s help, we must actively seek it from Him that we may also realize that it is not in our own power that we help others but in His power. This is what we must remember. May we also understand and appreciate even more the role of the priests striving to fulfill so many responsibilities for the church, including guiding all of us. Let us include all priests in our daily prayers and may the Lord further increase vocations for His glory, for the sake of the Church and all the people of God. Amen. +
God bless you!
Reflections by: Frances Mary Margaret DJ
Catholic Readings Source ©: Universalis.com via St. Mary’s Bath UK