Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint John Mary Vianney, P. (04th August, 2021) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Ps 105:6-7.13-14.21-23. (R.v.4);
Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney, John Mary Vianney (May 8, 1786 – August 4, 1859) was born in Dardilly, France. He was raised in a Catholic home and the family often helped the poor and housed St. Benedict Joseph Labre when he made his pilgrimage to Rome. It was very difficult for him to comprehend Latin lectures. He was eventually ordained a deacon in June 1815 and a priest on August 12, 1815. Fr. Vianney was appointed parish priest of the Ars parish in 1818. He spent 11 to 12 hours at confession during winter and about 16 hours during summer. He refused to retire. By 1853, Fr. Vianney had attempted to run away from Ars four times to become a monk. He was the champion of the poor. On October 3, 1873, Pope Pius IX proclaimed him “Venerable” and on January 8, 1905, Pope Pius X beatified him. St. John Vianney was canonized on May 31, 1925.
Topic: When God appears silent.
In the district of Tyre and Sidon, a Canaanite woman kept shouting after Jesus, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.” Jesus was silent. The disciples urged Him to send her away. Kneeling before Him, she prayed, “Lord, help me.” Jesus replied, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” And the woman answered, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
Often there are complaints that God is silent. Sometimes, it even takes the nature of accusation. The Psalmist rightly questions, “He who planted the ear, does he not hear? He who formed the eye, does he not see?” (Ps 94:9).
The letter to the Hebrews reads, “...faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). Faith when tested produces endurance and also reveals its genuineness, cf. Jas 1:3; 1Pt 1:7. God said that after testing, “They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’”cf. Zech 13:9.
Jesus’ silence tested the woman’s faith. Hence Jesus finally said to her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” In the same vein, we must continue to call on God until He hears our cry. Our souls must wait for God alone because our hope and salvation come from Him alone, cf. Ps 62:1, 5. God also said, “...my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him” (Heb 10:38).
Bible Reading: Jas 1:2-8.
Thought for today: ...endurance produces character (Rom 5:4).
Let us pray: Lord, give us the grace to endure to the end – Amen.
Saint John Mary Vianney – Pray for us.
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