Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint John Mary Vianney, P., (4th August, 2016) on the Gospel and the Memorial


Jer 31:31-34;
Ps 50:12-15.18-19. (R. v.12);
Matt 16:13-23.

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.[1]

Topic: The road to success.

Peter declared about Jesus in today’s gospel, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to Peter in part, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven.”
Probably, the apostles would be expecting the sharing of positions when He began to tell them what awaited Him; “great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” Hence, Peter took Him aside and rebuked Him, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” Surprisingly Jesus replied to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
The road that leads to success is hard and its gate narrow and those who find it are few, cf. Matt 7:14. Saint Paul writes about Jesus,
...though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of slave ... he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death.... Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name (Phil 2:6-9).
The road to success is not an easy one. Whoever wants success must certainly work towards that, cf. Rom 8:17. Saint John Mary Vianney never found both the journey to the priesthood and the priestly duties easy. Yet he overcame all. What about you?
Bible Reading: Matt 7:13-14; Phil 2:1-11.
Thought for today: Walk towards success.
Let us pray: Lord, give us the fortitude to overcome all the trials on the road to success – Amen.
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