Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul, P., (27th September, 2016) on the Gospel and the Memorial


Job 3:1-3.11-17.20-23;
Ps 87:2-8. (R. v.3);
Lk 9:51-56.
Saint Vincent de Paul was born to a poor peasant family in Pouy on 24th April, 1581. He was hired as a tutor based on his brilliant performance in his studies. His earnings helped him in the study of theology at the University of Toulose. He was ordained in 1600 and remained in Toulose for a time. In 1605, he was captured and sold into slavery. He escaped after two years and returned to France. While studying in Rome, he was a chaplain to the Count of Goigny and also in charge of distributing money to the deserving poor. He spent his life preaching missions to and providing relief to the poor and also established hospitals for them. Later, he extended his ministry to convicts. He founded the Ladies of Charity, and the Congregation of Priests of the Mission (Vincentians) to help him carry on the ministry. Saint Vincent helped in the reformation of the clergy and the seminary formation. He died in Paris on September 27, 1660. Pope Benedict XIII beatified him on August 13, 1729 and was canonized by Pope Leo XIII on June 16, 1737. He is the patron of charities; horses; hospitals; leprosy; lost articles; Madagascar; prisoners; Richmond, Virginia; spiritual help; Saint Vincent de Paul Societies; Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory; Vincentian Service Corps; volunteers.[1]
Topic: Not fire for fire.
An unnamed Samaritan town refused to receive Jesus in today’s gospel because He was going to Jerusalem. James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven to consume them but Jesus rebuked them. They rather went on to another village.
The sons of thunder, (cf. Mk 3:17) wanted to match the people power for power. However, it negates the will of the Master. His command is clear, “...whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave” (Matt 20:26-27; cf. Mk 10:43-44). Hence, He did not approve of their proposal.
Jesus never promised us a world where people will be praising His disciples, “In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). Again, “...they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake” (Matt 24:9; Matt 10:18, 22). Yet we are required to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves, and to shine as lights in the world, cf. Matt 10:16; Phil 2:15.
Saint Vincent de Paul met with different challenges ranging from poverty, enslavement, and so on. He followed the example of Jesus before all of them. We are expected to do just the same.
Bible Reading: Matt 20:20-28.
Thought for today: Do not fight.
Let us pray: Lord, grant us a heart that can endure every kind of hardship – Amen.
Saint Vincent de Paul – Pray for us.
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